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Yoh'me II 




A Survey of Classical Roman Literature 

Volume 11 


A Survey of 



D.P. Lockwood 

VolufJte 11 


The University of Chicago Press, Chicago & London 

The University of Toronto Press, Toronto 5, Canada 

Copyright 1934 by 

Prentice-Hall, Inc. 

First University of Chicago Press Edition 1962 

Second Impression 1963 

Printed in the US. A. 



arte docendi 





T?OR a statement of the pedagogical purposes and uses of this 
■*- Survey of Classical Roman Literature, teachers are referred to 
the preface of Volume I. 

The present volume, in direct continuation of the first, presents 
the literature of the Empire. Authors of the Empire, nearer to 
us in time, have survived in far more formidable array, which 
makes the task of selection correspondingly harder — although 
many extant works of this period are either factual and non- 
literary or distinctly second-rate. 

Teachers who hesitate to read all the authors here included 
may choose at will; or, if they prefer to confine instruction to the 
strictly classic tradition, may omit most of the fifth period. 

D. P. L. 



Preface vii 

National or Classical Roman Literature 1 

The Fourth Period 1 

C Sallustius Crispus 4 

• '^T. Livius 8 

^ Vitruvius Pollio 29 

P. VergiUus Maro 32 

I. The Eclogues 34 

11. The Georgics 40 

Q. Horatius Flaccus 47 

I. Epodes 50 

II. Sermones 54 

III. Odes 67 

PreUminary extracts 68 

Selections from Books I-III 80 

IV. Epistles 102 

V. Last Odes 106 

The Elegiac Poets Ill 

- Albius Tibullus. . 112 

"^Sex. Aurelius Propertius 115 

P. Ovidus Naso 119 

I. Amores . 120 

II. Fasti 121 

III. Tristia 124 

IV. Epistulae Ex Ponto 133 

The Fifth Period 135 

^^ Phaedrus 138 

^ L. Annaeus Seneca 139 

I. Epistles to Lucilius 142 

II. Ludus De Morte (or Apocolocyntosis) 

Claudn...r 148 


X Contents 

. C. Petronius 161 

P. Papinius Statius 167 

M. Valerius Martialis 168 

The Sixth Period 177 

' CorneHus Tacitus 180 

^ C. Plinius Secundus 192 

D. Junius luvenaUs 224 

^C. Suetonius Tranquillus 242 

Gains 248 

Epilogue 259 

Notes 261 

National or Classical 
Roman Literature 


(43 B.C.-14 A.D.) 

The Augustan, or Golden, Age 


The Fourth Period 

npHE influence of political conditions on literature may be 
-■- clearly seen in the contrast between the Ciceronian and 
Augustan eras. 

During the Ciceronian era literature had been largely a by- 
product of strenuous civic life. In spite of the incalculable dam- 
age inflicted by civil war, the wits of the Romans had been 
sharpened and their minds enriched by political and social tur- 
moil. The death of Cicero, in 43 B.C., betokened the end of all 
these republican influences. 

The transition to a new literary epoch was abrupt and im- 
mediate. The destinies of the world had passed into the hands 
of a few titanic rivals. Now not the doers, but the dreamers, had 
a message for their fellow men. 

With the final triumph of Augustus came peace and prosperity. 
Serene paternalism succeeded chaotic conflict; patronage, the 
struggle for existence. In a word, art came to be cultivated for 
art's sake; genius was nursed and sheltered. Intensified and 
more widely disseminated education created a cultured leisure 
class, by and for whom literature was produced. As it became 
more refined, more bookish, and more remote from current 
problems, this literature could be appreciated only by those hav- 
ing the necessary background. Its theme was the past; its 
style grew ever more polished and mellifluous. Perfection of form 
became an end in itself, and the sole standards of form were those 
evolved from the almost fanatical study of classic Greek literature. 

The Augustan age was therefore primarily one of poetry. 
When the destinies of the race ceased to be governed by parlia- 
mentary debate and the spoken word lost its power, men naturally 
turned their minds to remoter things — to philosophic dreams, to 
romance. Moreover it was the deliberate policy of Augustus to 
foster the illusion of an ideal monarchy — a regenerated common- 
wealth. The poets who helped create the heroic legend of Rome's 


4 National or Classical Roman Literature 

grandeur were his proteges. From them — as from all their con- 
temporaries, great and small — we have no chronicle of the times, 
no photographic picture of the workaday world, no cross section 
of the age; their concern was not the present, but something 
greater and more universal than the present — whether heroic or 
merely human. It is this poetry of the "golden " age that became 
the heart and core of the legacy bequeathed to posterity by 
classical Roman literature. With its meticulous perfection of 
form, bespeaking learning as well as genius, it has stood for centu- 
ries as the very pattern of ''pure" poetry — a thing sacred and 
apart. The combined influence of Vergil, Horace, and Ovid on 
all subsequent occidental literature is incalculable. 

Augustan prose also bears the impress of the times — perhaps 
even more clearly and tangibly than verse. The moment 
democracy and free speech died, prose style assumed artificial 
embellishment and adopted the adornments of verse. Abandon- 
ing the language of the mart, prose writers made increasing use of 
poetic vocabulary — i.e., of obsolete words, metaphorical diction, 
and innovations in syntax and idiom; not to any overwhelming 
extent, of course, but enough to tinge their narratives with a 
distinct poetic flavor. In short, prose — like poetry — became 
more romantic.^ 


(Born in 86 B.C.; active from 43-35 B.C.) 

His Life and Works 

The first writer whose work bears the impress of the new era is 

Sallust. After engaging in the corrupt politics of the close of the 

Republic and duly enriching himself with the plunder of a 

province, he retired to a life of leisure and began devoting him- 

1 Note particularly at this point that the periods of Roman Hterature laid 
down for our guidance do not always coincide with the accepted periods of 
Roman political history. Historians generally date the beginning of the 
Augustan age — and of the Roman Empire — from the firm establishment of 
Augustus on the throne (27 B.C.). But the turning point in the history of 
Roman literature came with the collapse of the democratic ideal; from that 
moment on, literature followed a different course. Thus the *' Augustan" 
age of literary history antedates by some twenty years that of political history. 

Fourth Period 


self to literature. While history was the field he chose/ Sallust 
regarded it only as a medium for new literary achievement. 
Professing to take Thucydides as his model, he strove for senten- 
tious brevity and a colorful prose, remote from current speech.^ 
Thus, in about 45 B.C., he composed his two essays: On the Con- 
spiracy of Catiline^ and On the War with Jugurtha. (Only frag- 
ments of a longer work, the Histories, have been preserved.) 

These essays reveal a litterateur, studiously developing a new 
and distinctive style; a scholar, secluded in his study, interpreting 
great events of the past by a broad philosophy of human conduct ; 
an artist, painting in romantic colors the pageant of human strife.: 
Sallust tapped a new vein of creative power; his two essays be- 
came imperishable models of historical composition^ 

The breadth and universality of his thought may be judged 
from the opening chapters of the essay On the Conspiracy of 
Catiline. This vivid — even lurid — narrative has more in common 
with the historical novel than with any other type of historical 
writing cultivated at the present day. 





On the Conspiracy of Catiline 

















Omnls homines, qui sese student praestare ceteris animali- 
bus, summa ope niti decet, ne vitam silentio transeant veluti ^ 
pecora, quae Natura prona atque ventri oboedientia finxit. 
Sed nostra omnis vis in animo et corpore sita est ; ahimi im- 
perio, corporis servitio magis utimur; alterum nobis cum dis, 
alterum cum beluis commune est. Quo mihi rectius videtur 
ingeni quam virium opibus gloriam quaerere, et, quoniam 
vita ipsa qua fruimur brevis est, memoriam nostri quam 
maxime longam efficere; nam divitiarum et formae gloria 
fluxa atque fragilis est, virtus clara aeternaque habetur. 

Sed diu magnum inter mortalis certamen fuit vine cor-) 
poris an virtute animi res militaris magis procederet. Nam^ 
et priusquam incipias, consulto; et ubi consulueris, mature 


— i.'<. 


6 National or Classical Roman Literature 

14 facto opus est. Ita utrumque, per se indigens alterum, 

15 alterius auxilio eget. 


1 Igitur initio reges (nam in terris nomen imperi id primum 

2 fuit), diversi, pars ingenium, alii corpus exercebant; etiam 

3 turn vita hominum sine cupiditate agitabatur; sua cuique 

4 satis placebant. Postea vero quam in Asia Cyrus, in 
; 5 Graecia Lacedaemonii et Athenienses coepere urbis atque 

6 nationes subigere, libidinem dominandi causam belli habere, 

7 maximam gloriam in maximo imperio putare, turn demum 

8 periculo atque negotiis compertum est in bello plurimum 

9 ingenium posse. ,.vJ^^.v.x , 

10 Quodsi regum atque imperatorum animi virtus in pace ita 

11 ut in bello valeret, aequabilius atque ponstantius sese res 

12 humanae haberient, neque aliud alio ferri neque mutari ac 

13 misceri omnia cerneres. Nam imperium facile eis artibiis 

14 retinetur quibus initio partum est. Verum ubi pro labore 

15 desidia, pro continentia et aequitate libido atque super bia 

16 invasere, fortuna simul cum moribus immutatur. Ita im- 

17 perium semper ad optimum quemque a minus bono trans- 
is fertur. ^ ^^ v,,.)^*^ ^^^- 

19 Quae homines arant, navigant, aedificant, virtuti omnia 

20 pareiit. Sed multi mortales, dediti ventri atque somno, 

21 indocti incultique vitam sicuti peregrinaiites transiere; 
^^22 quibus profecto contra iiaturam corpus voluptati, anima 

23 oneri fuit. Eorum ego vitam mortemque iuxta aestimo, 

24 quoniam de utraque siletur, Verum enim vero is demum 

25 mihi vivere atque frui anima videtur, qui, aliquo negotio 

26 intentus, praeclari facinoris aut artis bonae famam quaerit. 

27 Sed in magna copia rerum aliud alii Natura iter ostendit. 


1 Pulchrum est bene facere rei publicae, etiam bene dicere 

2 baud absurdum est; vel pace vel bello clarum fieri licet. Et 

3 qui fecere et qui facta aliorum scripsere, multi laudantur. 
7~^^4 Ac mihi quidem, tametsi haudquaquam par gloria sequitur 

\JV ) 

j Fourth Period 7 

5 scriptorem et actorem rerum, tamen imprimis arduum 

.j^ videtur res gestas scribere; \grimum quod facta dictis 

I 7 exaequanda sunt, dehinc quia plerique quae delicta repre- 

] 8 henderis malivolentia et invidia dicta putant; ubi de magna 

^l 9 virtute atque gloria bonorum meinores, quae sibi quisque 

10 facilia factu putat, aequo animo accipit; supra ea, veluti 

1 v^cta, pro falsis ducit. „a..V.^, v. ,>.., x u\ 

/1 2 Sed ego adulescentulus initio, sicuti plerique, studio ad rem 

ii3 publicam latus sum, ibique mihi multa ad versa fuere. Nam 

!i4 pro pudore, pro abstinentia, pro virtute audacia, largitio, 

(i5 avaritia vigebant. Quae tametsi animus aspernabatur, 

jl6 insolens malarum artium, tamen inter tanta viti^ imbecilla. 

17 aetas ambitione corrupta tenebatur; ac me, cum ab reli- 

18 quorum malis moribus dissentirem, nihilo^ minus honoris 

19 cupido eadem qua ceteros fama atque invidia vexabat. 


1 Igitur ubi animus ex multis miseriis atque periculis re- j. 

2 quievit et mihi reliquam aetatem a re publica procul haben- 

3 dam decrevii non fujt consilium socordia atque desidia 

4 bonum otium conterere, neque vero agrum colendo aut 

5 venando, servilibus officiis, interitum aetatem agere; sed a 

6 quo incepto studioque me ambitio mala detinuerat, eodem 

v.. 7 regressus, statui res gestas populi Romani carptini, ut quae- ^ 

A 8 que memoria digna videbantur, perscribere; eo magis, quod 

9 mihi a spe, metu, partibus rei publicae animus liber erat. 

^x 10 Igitur de Catilinae coniuratione quam verissime potero 

f/ 11 paucis absolvam; nam id f acinus impritnis ego memorabile 

12 existimo sceleris atque periculi novitate. De cuius hominis 

13 moribus pauca prius explananda sunt, quam initium nar- 

14 randi faciam. 




..T 1 L. Catilina, nobili genere natus, fuit magna vi et animi et 

2 corporis, sed ingenio malo pravoque, Huic ab adulescentia 

—3 bella intestina, caedes, rapinae, discordia civilis grata fuere, 

4 ibique iuventutem suam exercuit. Corpus patiens inediae, 


.- 'V 

8 National or Classical Roman Literature 

5 algoris, vigiliae supra quam cuiquam credibile est. Animus 

6 audax, subdolus, variuS, cuius rei libet simulator ac dis- 

7 simulator, alieni appetens, sui profusus, ardens in cupiditati- 

8 bus; satis eloquentiae, sapientiae parum. Vastus animus 

9 immoderata, incredibilia, nimis alta semper cupiebat. ^ 


(Born in 59 B.C.; active from 30 B.C.-17 A.D.) 

His Life and Works 

At about thirty years of age Titus Livius came to Rome from 
his birthplace, Patavium (the modern Padua). Here he began to 
write a complete history of Rome — a monumental work that 
occupied the entire time and energy of his remaining forty-odd 
years of life. These meager facts are practically all that is known 
about him; we can only infer that he was a man of means and 
scholarly tastes. Abundant fame was his before death — the anec- 
dote is told of a traveler who had journeyed all the way from 
Spain to see the wonders of Rome and who, when Titus Livius 
was pointed out to him on the street, immediately went home 
satisfied. _ 

The great history, which had reached its hundred and forty- 
second book when the author finally laid down his pen, narrated 
the annals of Rome from the Trojan origins to the death of 
Drusus, in 9 B.C. It bore the modest title of Ah Urhe Condita 
{From the Founding of Rome) and was constructed on the annalistic 
method — events being narrated year by year (at least, from that 
point in Rome's history at which sufficient material began to be 
available). Thus the work comprised an annalistic record of 
several hundred years, preceded by miscellaneous legends and 
episodes of an earlier period; it may best be characterized as 
Hero Tales from Roman History. By modern standards the work 
would be called popular and superficial, though it was honestly 
and painstakingly compiled from ''secondary" sources. It was 
animated throughout by patriotic motives, and Livy of course 
adhered to the principle of the ethical value of history. 



Fourth Period 9 

Of the hundred and forty-two books, only thirty-five have sur- 
vived — namely, Books I-X and XXI-XLV. These books supply 
more details of Roman history than any other single source, and 
the value of this information is attested by the fact that a search 
for the lost books of Livy has intrigued the modern world ever 
since the revival of learning, in the fifteenth century. 

It is natural that the quality of so huge a work should be uneven. 
There are long and dull stretches of annalistic records, but in 
dramatic situations (such as Hannibars invasion of Italy) Livy 
rises to great heights of powerful and vivid narration. His style 
reflects Augustan influences; though not so mannered as that of 
Sallust, it is distinctly bookish and lacking in the Ciceronian 
qualities of oral eloquence. It is rich and varied, commanding all 
the resources of colorful rhetoric, but bespeaks the study rather 
than the forum. 

Ab Urbe Condita 


Legends of Early Rome 
[a] The Combat of the Horatii and Curiatii 
[This is an episode from the war between Rome and Alba 

1 Forte in duobus tum exercitibus erant trigemini fratres, 

2 nee aetate nee viribus dispares. Horatios Curiatiosque 

3 fuisse satis constat, nee ferme res antiqua alia est nobilior;_ 

4 tamen in re tarn clara nominum error manet^ utrius populi=^ 

5 Horatii, utrius Curiatii fuerint. Auctores utroque trahunt; 

6 plures tamen invenio qui Romanos Horatios vocent; hos ut 

7 sequar inclinat animus. Cum trigeminis agunt reges ut pro 

8 sua quisque patria dimicent ferro; ibi imperium fore unde 

9 victoria fuerit. Nihil recusatur; tempus et locus convenit. 

10 Priusquam dimicarent, foedus ictum inter Romanos et Al- 

1 1 banos est his legibus, ut cuiusque populi cives eo certamine 

12 vicissent, is alteri populo cum bona pace imperitaret. . . . 

13 Foedere icto, trigemini, sicut convenerat, arma capiunt. 

14 Cum sui utrosque adhortarentur — deos patrios, patriam ac 

10 National or Classical Roman Literature 

15 parentes, quidquid civium domi, quidquid in exercitu sit, 

16 illorum tunc arma, illorum intueri manus — , feroces et suopte 

17 ingenio et pleni adhortantium vocibus, in medium inter duas 

18 acies procedunt. 

19 Consederant utrimque pro castris duo exercitus, periculi 

20 magis praesentis quam curae expertes; quippe imperium 

21 agebatur, in tam paucorum virtute atque fortuna positum. 

22 Itaque ergo erecti suspensique in minime gratum spectacu- 

23 lum animo incenduntur. Datur signum infestisque armis, 

24 velut acies, terni iuvenes, magnorum exercituum animos 

25 gerentes, concurrunt. Nee his nee illis periculum suum; 

26 publicum imperium servitiumque obversatur animo futura- 

27 que ea deinde patriae fortuna quam ipsi fecissent. 

28 Ut primo statim concursu increpuere arma micantesque 

29 fulsere gladii, horror ingens spectantes perstringit et neutro 

30 inclinata spe torpebat vox spiritusque. Consertis deinde 

3 1 manibus, cum iam non motus tantum corporum agitatioque 

32 anceps telorum armorumque sed vulnera quoque et sanguis 

33 spectaculo essent, duo Romani super alium aUus, vulneratis 

34 tribus Albanis, exspirantes corruerunt. Ad quorum casum 

35 cum conclamasset gaudio Albanus exercitus, Romanas 

36 legiones iam spes tota, nondum tamen cur a deseruerat, 

37 exanimes vice unius quem tres Curiatii circumsteterant. 

38 Forte is integer fuit, ut universis solus nequaquam par, sic 

39 adversus singulos ferox. Ergo, ut segregaret pugnam 

40 eorum, capessit fugam, ita ratus secuturos ut quemque vul- 

41 nere adfectum corpus sineret. Iam aliquantum spatii ex eo 

42 loco ubi pugnatum est aufugerat, cum respiciens videt mag- 

43 nis intervallis sequentes, unum hand procul ab sese abesse. 

44 In eum magno impetu rediit; et dum Albanus exercitus in- 

45 clamat Curiatiis uti opem ferant fratri, iam Horatius, caeso 

46 hoste, victor secundam pugnam petebat. Tunc clamore, 

47 qualis ex insperato faventium solet, Romani adiuvant mili- 

48 tern suum; et ille defungi proelio festinat. Prius itaque 

49 quam alter — nee procul aberat — ^consequi posset, et alterum 

50 Curiatium conficit; iamque aequato Marte singuli supere- 

51 rant, sed nee spe nee viribus pares. Alterum intactum ferro 

Fourth Period 11 

52 corpus et geminata victoria ferocem in certamen tertium 

53 dabat: alter fessum vulnere, fessum cursu trahens corpus, 

54 victusque fratrum ante se strage, victori obicitur hosti. 

55 Nee illud proelium fuit. Romanus exsultans ^^duos" inquit 

56 "fratrum manibus dedi; tertium causae belli huiusce, ut 

57 Romanus Albano imperet, dabo." Male sustinenti arma, 

58 gladium superne iugulo defigit, iacentem spoliat. Romani 

59 ovantes ac gratulantes Horatium accipiunt, eo maiore cum 

60 gaudio, quo prope metum res fuerat. 

61 Ad sepulturam inde suorum nequaquam paribus animis 

62 vertuntur, quippe imperio alteri aucti, alteri dicionis alienae 

63 facti. Sepulchra exstant quo quisque loco cecidit, duo 

64 Romana uno loco propius Albam, tria Albana Romam versus 

65 sed distantia locis, ut et pugnatum est. 

66 Priusquam inde digrederentur, roganti Mettio ex foedere 

67 icto quid imperaret, imperat Tullus uti iuventutem in armis 

68 habeat: usurum se eorum opera si bellum cum Veientibus 

69 foret. Tta exercitus inde domos abducti. Princeps Hora- 

70 tius ibat, trigemina spolia prae se gerens; cui soror virgo, 

71 quae desponsa uni ex Curiatiis fuerat, obvia ante portam 

72 Capenam fuit, cognitoque super umeros fratris paludamento 

73 sponsi quod ipsa confecerat, solvit crines et flebiliter nomine 

74 sponsum mortuum appellat. Movet feroci iuveni animum 

75 comploratio sororis in victoria sua tantoque gaudio publico. 

76 Stricto itaque gladio, simul verbis increpans transfigit puel- 

77 lam. " Abi hinc cum immaturo amore ad sponsum " inquit, 

78 "oblita fratrum mortuorum vivique, oblita patriae: sic eat 

79 quaecumque Romana lugebit hostem." Atrox visum id 

80 facinus patribus plebique, sed recens meritum facto obsta- 

81 bat. Tamen raptus in ius ad regem. 

82 Rex, ne ipse tam tristis ingratique ad vulgus iudicii ac 

83 secundum indicium supplicii auctor esset, concilio populi ad- 

84 vocato, "duumviros" inquit, "qui Horatio perduellionem 

85 iudicent, secundum legem facio." Lex horrendi carminis 

86 erat: ' > 

87 Duumviri perduellionem iudicent: > 

88 si a duumviris pro v"6 carit, provoca- 

12 National or Classical Roman Literature 

89 tione certato; si vincent, caput 

90 o b n u b 1 to; infelici arbori reste sus- 

91 pendito; verberato vel intra pome- 

92 riumvelextrapomerium. 

93 Hac lege duumviri creati. . . . Turn alter ex iis "Publi 

94 Horati, tibi perduellionem iudico" inquit. *'I, lictor, col- 

95 liga manus." Accesserat lictor iniciebatque laqueum. 

96 Turn Horatius auctore TuUo, clemente legis interprete, 

97 ''provoco" inquit. Itaque provocatione certatum ad 

98 populum est. Moti homines sunt in eo iudicio maxime P. 

99 Horatio patre proclamante se filiam iure caesam iudicare; 

100 ni ita esset, patrio iure in filium animadversurum fuisse. 

101 Orabat deinde, ne se, quem paulo ante cum egregia stirpe 

102 conspexissent, orbum liberis facerent. Inter haec senex 

103 iuvenem amplexus, spolia Curiatiorum fixa eo loco qui nunc 

1 04 Pila Horatia appellatur ostentans, ' ' huncine ' ' aiebat, ^ ' quem 

105 modo decoratum ovantemque victoria incedentem vidistis, 

106 Quirites, eum sub furca vinctum inter verbera et cruciatus 

107 videre potestis? quod vix Albanorum oculi tam deforme 

108 spectaculum ferre possent. I, lictor, colliga manus — quae 

109 paulo ante armatae imperium populo Romano pepererunt! 

110 I, caput obnube — liberatoris urbis huius; arbore infelici sus- 
hi pende; verbera vel intra pomerium^modo inter ilia pila et 

112 spolia hostium — ^, vel extra pomerium — modo inter sepul- 

113 chra Curiatiorum; quo enim ducere hunc iuvenem potestis, 

114 ubi non sua decora eum a tanta foeditate supplicii vindi- 

115 cent?'' Non tulit populus nee patris lacrimas nee ipsius 

116 parem in omni periculo animum, absolveruntque admira- 

117 tione magis virtutis quam iure causae. 

118 Itaque ut caedes manifesta aliquo tamen piaculo lueretur, 

119 imperatum patri ut filium expiaret pecunia publica. Is, 

120 quibusdam piacuJaribus sacrifices factis, quae deinde genti 

121 Horatiae tradita sunt, transmisso per viam tigillo, capite 
^^r22 adoperto velut sub iugum misit iuvenem. Id hodie quoque, 

123 publice semper refectum, manet; sororium tigillum vocant. 

124 Horatiae sepulchrum, quo loco corruerat icta, constructum 

125 est saxo quadrato. 

\^s \^--\ VaA <v-n^ \^.^m^ 

Fourth Period 13 

[b] The Rape of Lucrece 

[In the reign of Tarquin the Proud, the Roman army laid siege 
to Ardea, about twenty miles south of Rome.] 

1 Temptata res est, si primo impetu capi Ardea posset. 

2 Ubi id parum processit, obsidione munitionibusque coepti 

3 premi hostes. In his stativis (ut fit longo, magis quam acri, 

4 bello) satis liberi commeatus erant, primoribus tamen 

5 magis quam militibus; regii quidem iuvenes inter dum otium 

6 conviviis comissationibusque inter se terebant. 

7 Forte potantibus his apud Sex. Tarquinium, ubi et 

8 CoUatinus cenabat Tarquinius, Egerii filius, incidit de 

9 uxoribus mentio; suam quisque laudare miris modis. Inde 

10 certamine accenso Collatinus negat verbis opus esse; paucis 

11 id quidem horis posse sciri, quantum ceteris praestet 

12 Lucretia sua. "Quin, si vigor iuventae inest, conscendimus 

13 equos invisimusque praesentes nostrarum ingenia? Id 

14 cuique spectatissimum sit, quod necopinato viri adventu 

15 occurrerit oculis." Incaluerant vino. "Age sane!*' om- 

16 nes. 

17 Citatis equis avolant Romam. Quo cum primis se in- 

18 tendentibus tenebris pervenissent, pergunt inde Collatiam, 

19 ubi Lucretiam, haudquaquam ut regias nurus, quas in convi- 

20 vio luxuque cum aequalibus viderant tempus terentes, sed 

21 nocte sera deditam lanae inter lucubrantes ancillas in medio 

22 aedium sedentem inveniunt. Muliebris certaminis laus 

23 penes Lucretiam fuit. Adveniens vir Tarquiniique excepti 

24 benigne; victor maritus comiter invitat regios iuvenes. Ibi 

25 Sex. Tarquinium mala libido Lucretiae per vim stuprandae 

26 capit; cum forma tum spectata castitasincitat. Et tum qui- 

27 dem ab nocturno iuvenali ludo in castra redeunt. 

28 Paucis interiectis diebus Sex. Tarquinius inscio Collatino 

29 cum comite uno Collatiam venit. Ubi exceptus benigne ab 

30 ignaris consilii cum post cenam in hospitale cubiculum de- 

31 ductus esset, amore ardens, postquam satis tuta circa sopiti- 

32 que omnes videbantur, stricto gladio ad dormientem Lucre- 

33 tiam venit, sinistraque manu mulieris pectore oppresso, 

34 "tace, Lucretia" inquit; "Sex. Tarquinius sum; ferrum in 

14 National or Classical Roman Literature 

35 manu est; moriere, si emiseris vocem/' Cum pavida ex 

36 somno mulier nullam opem, prope mortem imminentem vide- 

37 ret, tum Tarquinius fateri amorem, orare, miscere precibus 

38 minas, versare in omnes partes muliebrum animum. Ubi 

39 obstinatam videbat et ne mortis quidem metu inclinari, addit 

40 ad metum dedecus: cum mortua iugulatum servum nudum 

41 positurum ait, ut in sordido adulterio necata dicatur. 

42 Quo terrore cum vicisset obstinatam pudicitiam, velut vi, 

43 atrox libido, profectusque inde Tarquinius ferox expugnato 

44 decore muliebri esset, Lucretia maesta tanto malo nuntium 

45 Romam eundem ad patrem Ardeamque ad virum mittit, 

46 ut cum singulis fidelibus amicis veniant: ita facto matura- 

47 toque opus esse; rem atrocem incidisse. Sp. Lucretius 

48 cum P. Valerio Volesi filio, Collatinus cum L. lunio 

49 Bruto venit, cum quo forte Romam rediens ab nuntio 

50 uxoris erat conventus. Lucretiam sedentem maestam in 

51 cubiculo inveniunt. Adventu suorum lacrimae obortae. 

52 Quaerentique viro "satin salve?", "minime" inquit; 

53 "quid enim salvi est mulieri amissa pudicitia? Vestigia 

54 viri alieni, Collatine, in lecto sunt tuo. Ceterum corpus 

55 est tantum violatum, animus insons: mors testis erit. Sed 

56 date dexteras fidemque baud impune adultero fore. Sex. 

57 est Tarquinius, qui hostis pro hospite priore nocte vi 

58 armatus mihi (sibique, si vos viri estis) pestiferum hinc 

59 abstulit gaudium." Dant ordine omnes fidem; conso- 

60 lantur aegram animi avertendo noxam ab coacta in auc- 

61 torem delicti: mentem peccare non corpus, et unde con- 

62 silium afuerit, culpam abesse. "Vos" inquit "videritis, 

63 quid illi debeatur: ego me etsi peccato absolvo, supplicio 

64 non libero; nee ulla deinde impudica Lucretiae exemplo 

65 vivet." Cultrum, quem sub veste abditum habebat, eum 

66 in corde defigit, prolapsaque in vulnus moribunda cecidit. 

67 Conclamat vir paterque. 

68 Brutus, illis luctu occupatis, cultrum ex vulnere Lucretiae 

69 extract um manantem cruore prae se tenens, "per hunc" 

70 inquit "castissimum ante regiam iniuriam sanguinem iuro, 

71 vosque, dii, testes facio, me L. Tarquinium Superbum 


Fourth Period 15 

T2 cum scelerata coniuge et omni liberorum stirpe ferro, 

73 igni, quacumque denique vi possim, exacturum, nee illos 

74 nee alium quemquam regnare Romae passurum.'^ Cul- 

75 trum deinde Collatino tradit, inde Lueretio ae Valerio, 

76 stupentibus miraeulo rei, unde novum in Bruti peetore 

77 ingenium. Ut praeeeptum erat iurant, totique ab luctu 

78 versi in iram Brutum, iam inde ad expugnandum regnum 

79 voeantem, sequuntur ducem. 

80 Elatum domo Lucretiae corpus in forum deferunt 
SI eoncientque miraeulo, ut fit, rei novae atque indignitate 

82 homines. Pro se quisque seelus regium ae vim queruntur. 

83 Movet cum patris maestitia tum Brutus castigator lacri- 

84 marum atque inertium querelarum auctorque, quod viros, 

85 quod Romanos deeeret, arma capiendi adversus hostilia 

86 ausos. Ferocissimus quisque iuvenum cum armis volun- 

87 tarius adest, sequitur et cetera iuventus. 

88 Inde parte praesidio relicta Collatiae eustodibusque ad 

89 portas locatis, ne quis eum motum regibus nuntiaret, ceteri 

90 armati, duee Bruto, Romam profeeti. Ubi eo ventum est, 

91 quacumque incedit armata multitudo, pavorem ae tumul- 

92 tum facit; rursus ubi anteire primores civitatis vident, 

93 quidquid sit, haud temere esse rentur. Nee minorem 

94 motum animorum Romae tam atrox res facit quam Col- 

95 latiae fecerat. Ergo ex omnibus locis urbis in forum curri- 

96 tur. Quo simul ventum est, praeco ad tribunum Celerum,^^'^ 

97 in quo tum magistratu forte Brutus erat, populum advocavit. ^\ > \o 

98 Ibi oratio habita nequaquam eius pectoris ingeniique, quod 

99 simulatum ad eam diem fuerat, de vi ae libidine Sex. Tar- 

100 quinii, de stupro infando Lucretiae et miserabili caede, de 

101 orbitate Trieipitini, cui morte filiae causa mortis indignior ae 

102 miserabiUor esset. Addita super bia ipsius regis miseriae- 

103 que et labores plebis in fossas cloaeasque exhauriendas de- 

104 mersae: Romanos homines, vietores omnium circa populo- 

105 rum, opifices ae lapieidas pro bellatoribus factos. Indigna 

106 Servi Tulli regis memorata caedis et invecta corpori patris 

107 nefando vehieulo filia, invocatique ultores parentum dii. 

108 His atrocioribusque credo aliis (quae praesens rerum in- 

16 National or Classical Roman Literature 

109 dignitas haudquaquam relatu scriptoribus facilia subicit) 

110 memoratis, incensam multitudinem perpulit, ut imperium 

111 regi abrogaret exulesque esse iuberet L. Tarquinium cum 

112 coniuge ac liberis. Ipse iunioribus, qui ultro nomina da- 
ns bant, lectis armatisque ad concitandum inde ad versus 

114 regem exercitum Ardeam in castra est profectus; imperium 

115 in urbe Lucretio, praefecto urbis iam ante ab rege institute, 

116 relinquit. Inter hunc tumultum Tullia domo profugit 

117 exsecrantibus, quacumque incedebat, invocantibusque pa- 
ns rentum ituri4s viris mulieribusque. 

119 Harum rerum nuntiis in castra perlatis cum re nova 

120 trepidus rex pergeret Romam ad comprimendos motus, 

121 flexit viam Brutus — senserat enim adventum, — ne obvius 

122 fieret; eodemque fere tempore diversis itineribus Brutus 

123 Ardeam, Tarquinius Romam venerunt. Tarquinio clausae 

124 portae exiliumque indictum; liberatorem urbis laeta castra 

125 accepere, exactique inde liberi regis. Duo patrem secuti 

126 sunt, qui exulatum Caere in Etruscos ierunt; Sex. Tar- 

127 quinius Gabios tamquam in suum regnum profectus ab 

128 ultoribus veterum simultatium, quas sibi ipse caedibus 

129 rapinisque conciverat, est interfectus. L. Tarquinius 

130 Super bus regnavit annos quinque et viginti. Regnatum 

131 Romae ab condita urbe ad liberatam annos ducentos quadra- 

132 ginta quattuor. Duo consules inde comitiis centuriatis a 
V 133 praefecto urbis ex commentariis Servi Tulli creati sunt, L. 

134 lunius Brutus et L. Tarquinius Collatinus. 

The Heroic Days of the Early Republic 
[a] Annals of the Year Ab Urbe Condita 455 (299 B.C.) 
[This was just before the Third Samnite War.] 

1 Ad Nequinum oppidum cum segni obsidione tempus 

2 tereretur, duo ex oppidanis, quorum erant aedificia iuneta 
^ 3 muro, specu facto ad stationes Romanas itinere occulto 

4 perveniunt; inde ad consulem deducti praesidium armatum 
^^ ^ 5 se intra moenia et muros accepturos confirmant. Nee 


Fourth Period 17 

6 aspernanda res visa neque incaute credenda. Cum altero 

7 eorum — nam alter obses retentus — duo exploratores per 

8 cuniculum missi; per quos satis conperta re, trecenti armati 

9 transfuga duce in urbem ingressi nocte portam, quae 

10 proxima erat, cepere. Qua refracta, consul exercitusque 

11 Romanus sine certamine urbem invasere. Ita Nequinum 

12 in dicionem populi Romani venit. Colonia eo adversus Um- 

13 bros missa a flumine Narnia appellata: exercitus cum magna 

14 praeda Romam reductus. 

15 Eodem anno ab Etruscis adversus indutias paratum bel- 
ie lum. Sed eos alia molientis Gallorum ingens exercitus fines 

17 ingressus paulisper a proposito avertit. Pecunia deinde, 

18 qua multum poterant, freti socios ex hostibus facere Gallos 

19 conantur, ut eo adiuncto exercitu cum Romanis bellarent. 

20 De societate baud abnuunt barbari; de mercede agitur. 

21 Qua pacta acceptaque, cum parata cetera ad bellum essent, 

22 sequique Etruscus iuberet, infitias eunt mercedem se belli 

23 Romanis inferendi pactos: quidquid acceperint, accepisse, 

24 ne agrum Etruscum vastarent armisque lacesserent cul- 

25 tores. Militaturos tamen se, si utique Etrusci velint, sed 

26 nulla alia mercede, quam ut in partem agri accipiantur 

27 tandemque aliqua sede certa consistant. Multa de eo con- 

28 cilia populorum Etruriae habita, nee perfici quicquam potuit, 

29 non tam quia imminui agrum, quam quia accolas sibi 

30 quisque adiungere tam efferatae gentis homines horrebat. 

31 Ita dimissi Galli pecuniam ingentem sine labore ac periculo 

32 paratam rettulerunt. Romae terrorem praebuit fama 

33 Gallici tumultus ad bellum Etruscum adiecti : eo minus cunc- 

34 tanter foedus ictum cum Picenti populo est. 

[b] Matters of Religion, in A. U. C. 458 (296 B.C.) 

1 Eo anno prodigia multa fuerunt, quorum averruncan- 

2 dorum causa supplicationes in biduum senatus decrevit; 

3 publice vinum ac tus praebitum. Supplicatum iere fre- 

4 quentes viri feminaeque. Insignem supplicationem fecit 

5 certamen in sacello Pudicitiae patriciae, quae in foro bo- 

6 vario est ad aedem rotundam Herculis, inter matronas ortum. 

18 National or Classical Roman Literature 

7 Verginiam Auli filiam, patriciam plebeio nuptam L. 

8 Volumnio consuli, matronae, quod e patribus enupsisset, 

9 sacris arcuerant. Brevis alter catio inde ex iracuDdia mulie- 

10 bri in contentionem animorum exarsit, cum se Verginia et 

11 patriciam et pudicam in patriciae Pudicitiae templum 

12 ingressam et uni nuptam, ad quern virgo deducta sit, nee se 

13 viri honorumve eius ac rerum gestarum paenitere, vero 

14 gloriaretur. Facto deinde egregio magnifica verba adauxit: 

15 in vico Longo, ubi habitabat, ex parte aedium quod satis 

16 esset loci modico sacello exclusit aramque ibi posuit; et 

17 convocatis plebeiis matronis, conquesta iniuriam patri- 

18 ciarum, "hanc ego aram'^ inquit "Pudicitiae plebeiae 

19 dedico, vosque hortor, ut, quod certamen virtutis viros in 

20 hac civitate tenet, hoc pudicitiae inter matronas sit, detis- 

21 que operam, ut haec ara quam ilia, si quid potest, sanctius 

22 et a castioribus coli dicatur/' Eodem ferme ritu et haec ara, 

23 quo ilia antiquior, culta est, ut nulla nisi spectatae pu- 

24 dicitiae matrona et quae uni viro nupta fuisset ius sacrifi- 

25 candi haberet. 

26 Eodem anno Cn. et Q. Ogulnii aediles curules aliquot 

27 faeneratoribus diem dixerunt; quorum bonis multatis, ex 

28 eo, quod in publicum redactum est, aenea in Capitolio 

29 limina et trium mensarum argentea vasa in cella lovis 

30 lovemque in culmine cum quadrigis et ad ficum Ruminalem 

31 simulacra infantium conditorum urbis sub uberibus lupae 

32 posuerunt, semitamque saxo quadrato a Capena porta ad 

33 Martis straverunt. Et ab aedilibus plebeiis L. Aelio Paeto 

34 et C. Fulvio Curvo ex multaticia item pecunia, quam exege- 

35 runt pecuariis damnatis, ludi facti pateraeque aureae ad 

36 Cereris positae. 

The Punic Wars 
The great drama of the life-and-death struggle between Hanni- 
bal and Rome is told by Livy with consummate skill. Like all 
other great historical works, it should be read in toto to be truly 
appreciated. It comprises ten books, and was considered so im- 

Fourth Period 19 

portant by Livy that he dignified it with a second preface — as 
though he were beginning a new work. 

[a] Preface 

1 In parte operis mei licet mihi praefari, quod in principio 

2 summae totius professi i>lerique sunt rerum scriptores, 

3 bellum maxime omnium memorabile, quae umquam gesta 

4 sint, me scripturum, quod Hannibale duce Carthaginienses 

5 cum populo Romano gessere. Nam neque vaHdiores opibus 

6 uUae inter se civitates gentesque contulerunt arma, neque 

7 his ipsis tantum umquam virium aut roboris fuit; et haud 

8 ignotas belli artes inter sese, sed expertas primo Punico 

9 conserebant bello, et adeo varia fortuna belli ancepsque 

10 Mars fuit, ut propius periculum fuerint, qui vicerunt. 

11 Odiis etiam prope maioribus certarunt quam viribus, 

12 Romanis indignantibus, quod victoribus victi ultro infer- 

13 rent arma, Poenis, quod super be avareque crederent im- 

14 peritatum victis esse. Fama est etiam Hannibalem an- 

15 norum ferme novem, pueriliter blandientem patri Hamilcari, 

16 ut duceretur in Hispaniam, cum perfecto Africo bello 

17 exercitum eo traiecturus sacrificaret, altaribus admotum 
IS tactis sacris iure iurando adactum, se, cum primum posset, 

19 hostem fore populo Romano. Angebant ingentis spirit us 

20 virum Sicilia Sardiniaque amissae: nam et Siciliam nimis 

21 celeri desperatione rerum concessam et Sardiniam inter 

22 motum Africae fraude Romanorum, stipendio etiam insuper 

23 imposito, interceptam. His anxius curis ita se Africo bello, 

24 quod fuit sub recentem Romanam pacem, per quinque annos, 

25 ita deinde novem annis in Hispania augendo Punico im- 

26 perio gessit, ut appareret mains eum, quam quod gereret, 

27 agitare in animo bellum, et, si diutius vixisset, Hamilcare 

28 duce Poenos arma Italiae inlaturos fuisse, qui Hannibalis 

29 ductu intulerunt. 

[b] Campaigns of the Year 215 B.C. 

[It was now the third year of the Second Punic War. Hannibal 
had crossed the Alps and won his three overwhelming victories: at 

20 National or Classical Roman Literature 

the Elver Trebia (218 B.C.), at Lake Trasimenus (217 B.C.), and 
at Cannae (216 B.C.). But the Romans had begun that patient 
resistence which was to win in the end — Fabius Maximus, the 
Cunctator, was harrjnng Hannibal in Italy; and the Scipios were 
winning back Spain.] 

1 Proelium erat anceps: summa vi et duces hortabantur 

2 et milites pugnabant. Marcellus victis ante diem tertium, 

3 fugatis ante paucos dies a Cumis, pulsis priore anno ab 

4 Nola eodem se duce milite alio, instare iubet. Non omnis 

5 esse in acie, praedantis vagari in agro; et qui pugnent mar- 

6 cere Campana luxuria, vino et scortis omnibusque lustris per 

7 totam hiemem confectos. Abisse illam vim vigoremque, 

8 dilapsa esse robora corporum animorumque, quibus Tyre- 

9 naei Alpiumque superata sint iuga. Reliquias illorum 

10 virorum vix arma membraque sustinentis pugnare. Ca- 

1 1 puam Hannibali Cannas f uisse. Ibi virtutem bellicam, ibi 

12 militarem disciplinam, ibi praeteriti temporis famam, ibi 

13 spem futuri exstinctam. Cum haec exprobrando hosti 

14 Marcellus suorum militum animos erigeret, Hannibal multo 

15 gravioribus probris increpabat: arma signaque eadem se 

16 noscere, quae ad Trebiam Trasumennumque, postremo ad 

17 Cannas viderit habueritque; militem alium profecto se in 

18 hiberna Capuam duxisse, alium inde eduxisse. "Lega- 

19 tumne Romanum et legionis unius at que alae magno cer- 

20 tamine vix toleratis pugnam, quos binae acies consulares 

2 1 num quam sustinuerunt ? Marcellus tirone milite ac Nolanis 

22 subsidiis inultus nos iam iterum lacessit? Ubi ille miles 

23 meus est, qui crept o ex equo C. Flaminio consuli caput 

24 abstulit? Ubi, qui L. Paulum ad Cannas occidit? Ferrum 

25 nunc hebet, an dextrae torpent, an quid prodigi est aliud? 

26 Qui pauci plures vincere soliti estis, nunc paucis plures vix 

27 restatis? Romam vos expugnaturos, si quis duceret, fortes 

28 lingua iactabatis: en minor res est; hie experiri vim vir- 

29 tutemque volo. Expugnate Nolam, campestrem urbem, 

30 non flumine, non mari saeptam. Hinc vos ex tam opulenta 

31 urbe praeda spoliisque onustos vel ducam quo voletis, vel 

Fourth Period 21 

32 sequar.^' 

33 Nee bene nee male dicta profuerunt ad eonfirmandos 

34 animos. Cum omni parte pellerentur, Romanisque 

35 crescerent animi non duce solum adhortante, sed Nolanis 

36 etiam per clamorem, favoris indicem, accendentibus ardo- 

37 rem pugnae, terga Poeni dederunt at que in castra compulsi 

38 sunt. Quae oppugnare cupientis milites Romanes Mar- 

39 eellus Nolam reduxit cum magno gaudio et gratulatione 

40 etiam plebis, quae ante inclinatior ad Poenos fuerat. 

41 Hostium plus quinque milia caesa eo die, vivi capti sexcenti 

42 et signa militaria undeviginti et duo elephanti, quattuor in 

43 acie occisi; Romanorum minus mille interfecti. Posterum 

44 diem indutiis tacitis sepeliendo utrimque caesos in acie 

45 eonsumpserunt. Spolia hostium Marcellus, Vulcano votum, 

46 cremavit. Tertio post die — ^ob iram credo aliquam aut 

47 spem liberalioris militiae — ducenti septuaginta duo equites, 

48 mixti Numidae et Hispani, ad Marcellum transfugerunt. 

49 Eorum forti fidelique opera in eo bello usi sunt saepe Ro- 

50 mani. Ager Hispanis in Hispania et Numidis in Africa post 

51 bellum virtutis causa datus est. Hannibal ab Nola, remisso 

52 in Bruttios Hannone cum quibus venerat copiis, ipse Apu- 

53 liae hiberna petit, eircaque Arpos consedit. 

54 Q. Fabius ut profectum in Apuliam Hannibalem audivit, 

55 frumento ab Nola Neapolique in ea castra convecto, quae 

56 super Suessulam erant, munimentisque firmatis et prae- 

57 sidio, quod per hiberna ad obtinendum locum satis esset, 

58 relicto, ipse Capuam propius movit castra, agrumque Cam- 

59 panum ferro ignique est depopulatus, donee coacti sunt 

60 Campani, nihil admodum viribus suis fidentes, egredi por- 

61 tis et castra ante urbem in aperto communire. Sex milia 

62 armatorum habebant, peditem imbellem, equitatu plus pot- 

63 erant; itaque equestribus proeliis lacessebant hostem. In- 

64 ter multos nobiles equites Campanos Cerrinus Vibellius 

65 erat, cognomine Taurea. Civis indidem erat, longe om- 

66 nium Campanorum fortissimus eques, adeo ut, cum apud 

67 Romanos militaret, unus eum Romanus Claudius Asellus 

68 gloria equestri aequaret. Hie tunc Taurea, eum diu perlus- 

22 National or Classical Roman Literature 

69 trans oculis obequitasset hostium turmis, tandem silentio 

70 facto, ubi esset Claudius Asellus quaesivit, et, quoniam 

71 verbis secum de virtute ambigere solitus esset, cur non ferro 

72 decerneret daretque opima spolia victus, aut victor caperet. 

73 Haec ubi Asello sunt nuntiata in castra, id modo mora- 

74 tus, ut consulem percunctaretur, liceretne extra ordinem 

75 in provocantem hostem pugnare, permissu eius arma 

76 extemplo cepit, provectusque ante stationes equo Tauream 

77 nomine compellavit congredique, ubi vellet, iussit. lam 

78 Romani ad spectaculum pugnae eius frequentes exierant, 

79 et Campani non vallum modo castrorum, sed moenia etiam 

80 urbis prospect antes repleverant. Cum iam ante ferocibus 

81 dictis rem nobilitassent, infestis hastis concitarunt equos; 

82 dein libero spatio inter se ludificantes sine vulnere pugnam 

83 extrahebant. Tum Campanus Romano "equorum** in- 

84 quit **hoc, non equitum erit certamen, nisi e campo in 

85 cavam hanc viam demittimus equos; ibi nuUo ad evagan- 

86 dum spatio comminus conserentur manus." Dicto prope 

87 citius equum in viam Claudius deiecit; Taurea verbis fero- 

88 cior quam re '* minime, si*s,'* inquit " cantherium in f ossam." 

89 Quae vox in rusticum inde proverbium prodita est. Clau- 

90 dius, cum ea via longe perequitasset, nullo obvio hoste, 

91 in campum rursus evectus, increpans ignaviam hostis, 

92 cum magno gaudio et gratulatione victor in castra redit. 

93 Huic pugnae equestri rem (quam vera sit, communis 

94 existimatio est) mirabilem certe adiciunt quidam annales: 

95 cum refugientem ad urbem Tauream Claudius sequeretur, 

96 patenti hostium portae invectum per alteram stupentibus 

97 miraculo hostibus intactum evasisse. 

98 Quiet a inde stativa fuere, ac retro etiam consul movit 

99 castra, ut sementem Campani facerent, nee ante violavit 

100 agrum Campanum, quam iam altae in segetibus herbae 

101 pabulum praebere poterant. Id convexit in Claudiana 

102 castra super Suessulam, ibique hiberna aedificavit. M. 

103 Claudio proconsuli imperd,vit, ut retento Nolae neces- 

104 sario ad tuendam urbem praesidio ceteros milites dimitteret 

105 Romam, ne oneri sociis et sumptui rei publicae essent. 

Fourth Period 23 

106 Et Ti. Gracchus a Cumis Luceriam in Apuliam legiones 

107 cum duxisset, M. Valerium inde praetorem Brundisium 

108 cum eo, quem Luceriae habuerat, exercitu misit, tuerique 

109 Oram agri Sallentini et providere quod ad Philippum bel- 

110 lumque Macedonicum attineret iussit. 

111 Exitu aestatis eius, qua haec gesta perscripsimus, litterae 

112 a P. et Cn. Scipionibus venerunt, quantas quamque 

113 prosperas in Hispania res gessissent: sed pecuniam in 

114 stipendium vestimentaque et frumentum exercitui, et sociis 

115 navalibus omnia deesse; quod ad stipendium attineat, 

116 si aerarium inops sit, se aliquam rationem inituros, quo 

117 modo ab Hispanis sumant; cetera utique ab Roma mit- 

118 tenda esse, nee aliter aut exercitum aut provinciam teneri 

119 posse. Litteris recitatis nemo omnium erat, quin et vera 

120 scribi et postulari aequa fateretur; sed occurrebat animis, 

121 quantos exercitus terrestris navalisque tuerentur, quanta- 

122 que nova classis mox paranda esset, si bellum Macedonicum 

123 moveretur: Siciliam ac Sardiniam, quae ante bellum 

124 vectigales fuissent, vix praesides provinciarum exercitus 

125 alere. Tributo sumptus suppeditari; tum ipsum tributum 

126 conferentium numerum tantis exercituum stragibus et ad 

127 Trasumennum lacum et ad Cannas imminutum; qui su- 

128 peressent pauci, si multiplici gravarentur stipendio, alia 

129 perituros peste: itaque nisi fide staret res publica, opibus 

130 non staturam. Prodeundum in contionem Fulvio prae- 

131 tori esse, indicandas populo publicas necessitates co- 

132 hortandosque, qui redempturis auxissent patrimonia, ut 

133 rei publicae, ex qua crevissent, tempus commodarent 

134 conducerentque ea lege praebenda, quae ad exercitum 

135 Hispaniensem opus essent, ut, cum pecunia in aerario es- 

136 set, iis primis solveretur. Haec praetor in contione edixit, 

137 quoque die vestimenta frumentum Hispaniensi exercitui 

138 praebenda quaeque alia opus essent navalibus sociis esset 

139 locaturus. 

140 Ubi ea dies venit, ad conducendum tres societates 

141 aderant hominum undeviginti, quorum duo postulata 

142 fuere, unum, ut militia vacarent, dum in eo publico essent, 

24 National or Classical Roman Literature 

143 alterum, ut, quae in naves imposuissent, ab hostium tem- 

144 pestatisque vi publico periculo essent. Utroque impetrato, 

145 conduxerunt, privataque pecunia res publica administra- 

146 ta est. li mores eaque caritas patriae per omnes ordines ve- 

147 lut tenore uno pertinebat. Quern ad modum conducta om- 

148 nia magno animo sunt, sic summa fide praebita, nee quic- 

149 quam parcius militibus datum quam si ex opulento aerario, 

150 ut quondam, alerentur. 

151 Cum hi commeatus venerunt, Iliturgi oppidum ab Has- 

152 drubale ac Magone et Hannibale Bomilcaris filio ob defec- 

153 tionem ad Romanos oppugnabatur. Inter haec trina ca- 

154 stra hostium Scipiones cum in urbem sociorum magno cer- 

155 tamine ac strage obsistentium pervenissent, frumentum, 

156 cuius inopia erat, advexerunt; cohortatique oppidanos, ut 

157 eodem animo moenia tutarentur, quo pro se pugnantem 

158 Romanum exercitum vidissent, ad castra maxima oppug- 

159 nanda, quibus Hasdrubal praeerat, ducunt. Eodem et 

160 duo duces et duo exercitus Carthaginiensium, ibi rem 

161 summam agi cernentes, convenerunt. Itaque eruptione e 

162 castris pugnatum est. Sexaginta hostium milia eo die in 

163 pugna fuerunt, sedecim circa a Romanis: tamen adeo haud 

164 dubia victoria fuit, ut plures numero, quam ipsi erant, Ro- 

165 mani hostium occlderint, ceperint ampHus tria milia ho- 

166 minum, paulo minus mille equorum, undesexaginta mili- 

167 taria signa, septem elephantos, quinque in proelio oc- 

168 cisis; trinisque eo die castris potiti sunt. Iliturgi obsidi- 

169 one liberato ad Intibili oppugnandum Punici exercitus tra- 

170 ducti suppletis copiis ex provincia, ut quae maxime om- 

171 nium belli avida, modo praeda aut merces esset, et tum 

172 iuventute abundante. Iterum signis coUatis eadem fortuna 

173 utriusque partis pugnatum. Supra tredecim milia hostium 

174 caesa, supra duo capta cum signis duobus et quadraginta 

175 et novem elephantis. Tum vero omnes prope Hispaniae po- 

176 puli ad Romanos defecerunt, multoque maiores ea aestate 

177 in Hispania quam in Italia res gestae. 

Fourth Period 25 

[c] Hannibal at the Gates of Rome, in 211 B.C. 

1 Hannibal quo die Vulturnum est transgressus, baud 

2 procul a flumine castra posuit; postero die praeter Cales 

3 in agrum Sidicinum pervenit. Ibi diem unum populando 

4 moratus per Suessanum AUifanumque et Casinatem agrum 

5 via Latina ducit. Sub Casino biduo stativa habita et pas- 

6 sim populationes factae. Inde praeter Interamnam Aqui- 

7 numque in Fregellanum agrum ad Lirim fluvium ventum, 

8 ubi intercisum pontem a Fregellanis morandi itineris causa 

9 invenit. Et Fulvium Vulturnus tenuerat amnis, navibus 

10 ab Hannibale incensis, rates ad traiciendum exercitum in 

11 magna inopia materiae aegre comparantem. Traiecto ra- 

12 tibus exercitu reliquum Fulvio expeditum iter (non per urbes 

13 modo sed circa viam expositis benigne commeatibus) erat, 

14 alacresque milites alius alium, ut adderet gradum, memor 

15 ad defendendam iri patriam, hortabantur. Romam Fregel- 

16 lanus nuntius, diem noctemque itinere continuato, ingentem 

17 attulit terrorem; tumultuosius quam quod adlatum erat 

18 concursus hominum (adfingentium vana auditis) totam ur- 

19 bem concitat. Ploratus mulierum non ex privatis solum 

20 domibus exaudiebatur, sed undique matronae in publicum 

21 effusae circa deum delubra discurrunt, crinibus passis aras 

22 verrentes, nixae genibus, supinas manus ad caelum ac deos 

23 tendentes orantesque ut urbem Romanam e manibus hos- 

24 tium eriperent matresque Romanas et liberos parvos inviola- 

25 tos servarent. Senatus magistratibus in foro praesto est, si 

26 quid consulere velint. Alii accipiunt imperia disceduntque 

27 ad suas quisque officiorum partes, alii offerunt se, si quo 

28 usus operae sit. Praesidia in arce, in Capitolio, in muris, 

29 circa urbem, in monte etiam Albano atque arce Aefulana 

30 ponuntur. Inter hunc tumultum Q. Fulvium proconsulem 

31 profectum cum exercitu Capua adfertur; cui ne minueretur 

32 imperium, si in urbem venisset, decernit senatus ut Q. Ful- 

33 vio par cum consulibus imperium esset. Hannibal infestius 

34 perpopulato agro Fregellano propter intercisos pontis, per 

35 Frusinatem Ferentinatemque et Anagninum agrum in Labi- 

36 canum venit. Inde Algido Tusculum petiit nee receptus 

26 National or Classical Roman Literature 

37 moenibus infra Tusculum dextrorsus Gabios descendit. 

38 Inde in Pupiniam exercitu demisso octo milia passuum ab 

39 Roma posuit castra. Quo propius hostis accedebat, eo 

40 maior caedes fiebat fugientium praecedentibus Numidis, 

41 pluresque omnium generum atque aetatium capiebantur. 

42 In hoc tumultu Fulvius Flaccus, porta Capena cum 

43 exercitu Romam ingressus, media urbe per Carinas Esqui- 

44 lias contendit; inde egressus inter Esquilinam Collinamque 

45 portam posuit castra. Aediles plebis commeatum eo com- 

46 portarunt. Consules senat usque in castra venerunt. Ibi 

47 de summa re publica consultatum. Placuit consules circa 

48 portas CoUinam Esquilinamque ponere castra, C. Calpur- 

49 nium praetorem urbanum Capitolio atque arci praeesse et 

50 senatum frequentem in f oro contineri, si quid in tam subitis 

51 rebus consulto opus esset. 

62 Inter haec Hannibal ad Anienem fluvium tria milia pas- 

53 suum ab urbe castra admovit. Ibi stativis positis ipse cum 

54 duobus milibus equitum ad portam Collinam usque ad Her- 

55 culis templum est progressus atque, unde proxime poterat, 

56 moenia situmque urbis obequitans contemplabatur. Id eum 

57 tam licenter atque otiose facere Flacco indignum visum 

58 est; itaque immisit equites submoverique atque in castra 

59 redigi hostium equitatum iussit. Cum commissum proe- 

60 lium esset, consules transfugas Numidarum, qui turn in 

61 Aventino ad mille et ducenti erant, media urbe transire 

62 Esquilias iusserunt, nullos aptiores inter convalles tectaque 

63 hortorum et sepulchra et cavas undique vias ad pugnandum 

64 futuros rati. Quos cum ex arce Capitolioque clivo Pub- 

65 licio in equis decurrentis quidam vidissent, captum Aven- 

66 tinum conclamaverunt. Ea res tantum tumultum ac fugam 

67 praebuit, ut, nisi castra Punica extra urbem fuissent, effu- 

68 sura se omnis pavida multitudo f uerit ; tunc in domos atque 

69 in tecta refugiebant vagosque in viis suos pro hostibus lapi- 

70 dibus telisque incessebant. Nee comprimi tumultus aperi- 

71 rique error poterat refertis itineribus agrestium turba 

72 pecorumque, quae repentinus pavor in urbem conpulerat. 

73 Equestre proelium secundum f uit, submotique hostes sunt. 

Fourth Period 27 

74 Et quia multis locis comprimendi tumultus erant, qui temere 

75 oriebantur, placuit omnes, qui dictatores, consules censo- 

76 resve fuissent, cum imperio esse, donee recessisset a muris 

77 hostis. Et diei quod reliquum fuit et nocte insequenti 

78 multi temere excitati tumultus sunt compressique. 

79 Postero die transgressus Anienem Hannibal in aciem 

80 omnis copias eduxit; nee Flaccus consulesque certamen de- 

81 trectavere. Instructis utrimque exercitibus in eius pugnae 

82 casum, in qua urbs Roma victori praemium esset, imber 

83 ingens grandine mixtus ita utramque aciem turbavit, ut vix 

84 armis retentis in castra sese receperint nullius rei minore 

85 quam hostium metu. Et postero die eodem loco acies in- 

86 structas eadem tempestas diremit. Vbi recepissent se in 

87 castra, mira serenitas cum tranquillitate oriebatur. In reli- 

88 gionem ea res apud Poenos versa est, auditaque vox Hanni- 

89 balls fertur, potiundae sibi urbis Romae modo mentem non 

90 dari, modo fortunam. Minuere etiam spem eius duae aliae, 

91 parva magnaque, res; magna ilia, quod, cum ipse ad moenia 

92 urbis Romae armatus sederet, milites sub vexillis in supple- 

93 mentum Hispaniae profectos audiit; parva autem, quod 

94 per eos dies eum forte agrum in quo ipse castra haberet 

95 venisse, nihil ob id deminuto pretio, cognitum ex quodam 

96 captivo est. Id vero adeo superbum atque indignum visum, 

97 eius soli, quod ipse bello captum possideret haberetque, in- 

98 ventum Romae emptorem, ut extemplo vocato praecone 

99 tabernas argentarias, quae circa forum Romanum essent, 

100 iusserit venire. His motus ad Tutiam fluvium castra 

101 rettulit sex milia passuum ab urbe. Inde ad lucum Fero- 

102 niae pergit ire, templum ea tempestate inclutum divitiis. 

103 Capenates aliique qui accolae eius erant, primitias frugum 

104 eo donaque alia pro copia portantes, multo auro argentoque 

105 id exornatum habebant. lis omnibus donis tum spo- 

106 liatum templum. Aeris acervi, cum rudera milites reli- 

107 gione inducti iacerent, post profectionem Hannibalis magni 

108 inventi. Huius populatio templi baud dubia inter scrip- 

109 tores est. Coelius, Romam euntem ab Ereto, devertisse e6 

110 Hannibalem tradit iter que eius ab Reate Cutiliisque et 

28 National or Classical Roman Literature 

111 ab Amiterno orditur; ex Campania in Samnium, inde in 

112 Paelignos pervenisse praeterque oppidum Sulmonem in 

113 Marrucinos transisse, inde Albensi agro in Marsos, hinc 

114 Amiternum Forulosque vicum venisse. Neque ibi error 

115 est, quod tanti ducis tantique exercitus vestigia intra tarn 

116 brevis aevi memoriam potuerint confundi — isse enim e^ 

117 constat — , tantum id interest, veneritne eo itinere ad 

118 Urbem, an ab Urbe in Campaniam redierit. 

[d] The Death of Hannibal, in 183 B.C. 

1 Ad Prusiam regem legatus T. Quinctius Flamininus 

2 venit, quern suspectum Romanis et receptus post fugam 

3 Antiochi Hannibal et bellum adversus Eumenem motum 

4 faciebat. Ibi seu quia a Flaminino inter cetera obiectum 

5 Prusiae erat, hominem omnium qui viverent infestissimum 

6 populo Romano apud eum esse, qui patriae suae primum, 

7 deinde fractis eius opibus Antiocho regi auctor belli adver- 

8 sus populum Romanum fuisset, seu quia ipse Prusias, ut 

9 gratificaretur praesenti Flaminino Romanisque, per se 

10 necandi aut tradendi eius in potest atem consilium cepit, a 

11 primo colloquio Flaminini milites extemplo ad domum 

12 Hannibalis custodiendam missi sunt. Semper talem exi- 

13 tum vitae suae Hannibal prospexerat animo, et Romano- 

14 rum inexpiabile odium in se cernens et fidei regum nihil 

15 sane fretus; Prusiae vero levitatem etiam expertus erat; 

16 Flaminini quoque adventum velut fatalem sibi horruerat. 

17 Ad omnia undique infesta, ut iter semper aliquod praepara- 

18 tum fugae haberet, septem exitus e domo fecerat et ex iis 

19 quosdam occultos, ne custodia saepirentur. Sed grave 

20 imperium regum nihil inexploratum quod vestigari volunt 

21 efficit. Totius circuitum domus ita custodiis complexi 

22 sunt ut nemo inde elabi posset. Hannibal, postquam est 

23 nuntiatum milites regios in vestibulo esse, postico, quod 

24 devium maxime atque occultissimi exitus erat, fugere cona- 

25 tus, ut id quoque occursu militum obsaeptum sensit et 

26 omnia circa clausa custodiis dispositis esse, venenum quod 

27 multo ante praeparatum ad tales habebat casus, poposcit. 

Fourth Period 29 

28 "Liberemus" inquit "diuturna cura populum Romanum, 

29 quando mortem senis exspectare longum censent. Nee 

30 magnam nee memorabilem ex inermi proditoque Flamini- 

31 nus victoriam feret. Mores quidem populi Romani quan- 

32 tum mutaverint, vel hie dies argumento erit. Horum 

33 patres Pyrrho regi, hosti armato, exercitum in Italia 

34 habenti, ut a veneno caveret praedixerunt ; hi legatum 

35 consularem, qui auctor esset Prusiae per scelus occidendi 

36 hospitis, miserunt/' Exsecratus deinde in caput regnum- 

37 que Prusiae, et hospitales deos violatae ab eo fidei testes in- 
3 8 vocans, poculum exhausit . Hie vitae exitus f uit Hannibalis. 


(Dates unknown.) 

Vitruvius, a famous Roman architect in the time of Augustus, 
embodied his technical knowledge and experience in a treatise 
on architecture, comprising ten books — our only ancient source 
of theoretical information on that important art. A comparison 
of Vitruvius^ statements with the actual remains of ancient build- 
ings and structures is most illuminating. Equally illuminating 
is the glimpse we get of the author^s character — that of a plain, 
honest, and conscientious Roman citizen, proud of his calling. 
Not the style, but the spirit and content of his treatise constitute 
its value. 

De Architectura 



1 Aristippus philosophus Socraticus, naufragio cum eiectus 

2 ad Rhodensium litus animadvertisset geometrica schemata 

3 descripta, exclamavisse ad comites ita dicitur: ''bene 

4 speremus, hominum enim vestigia video.*' Statimque in op- 

* Vitruvius' 'praenomen is unknown; nor are there even approximate dates 
for his life. 

30 National or Classical Roman Literature 

5 pidum Rhodum contendit et recta gymnasium devenit, 

6 ibique de philosophia disputans muneribus est donatus, ut non 

7 tantum se ornaret, sed etiam eis qui una fuerunt et vestitum 

8 et cetera quae opus essent ad victum praestaret. Cum au- 

9 tem eius comites in patriam reverti voluissent interrogarent- 

10 que eum, quidnam vellet domum renuntiari, tunc ita man- 

1 1 davit dicere : eiusmodi possessiones et viatica liberis oportere 

12 parari, quae etiam e naufragio una possent enatare. Nam- 

13 que ea vera praesidia sunt vitae, quibus neque fortunae 

14 tempestas iniqua neque publicarum rerum mutatio neque 

15 belli vastatio potest no cere. . . . Epicurus vero non dissimili- 

16 ter ait: pauca sapientibus Fortunam tribuere; quae autem 

17 maxima et necessaria sunt animi mentisque cogitationibus 

18 gubernari. Haec ita etiam plures philosophi dixerunt. 

19 Non minus poetae, qui antiquas comoedias graece scripse- 

20 runt, easdem sententias versibus in scaena pronuntiaverunt, 

21 ut Crates, Chionides, Aristophanes, maxime etiam cum his 

22 Alexis, qui Athenienses ait oportere ideo laudari, quod om- 

23 nium Graecorum leges cogunt parentes ali a liberis, Atheni- 

24 ensium non omnes nisi eos, qui liberos artibus erudissent. 

25 Omnia enim munera Fortunae cum dantur, ab ea f aciliter ad- 

26 imuntur; disciplinae vero coniunctae cum animis nullo 

27 tempore deficiunt, sed permanent stabiliter ad summum 

28 exitum vitae. 

29 Itaque ego maximas infinitasque parentibus ago atque 

30 habeo gratias, quod Atheniensium legem probantes me arte 

31 erudiendum curaverunt, et ea quae non potest esse probata 

32 sine litteratura encyclioque doctrinarum omnium disciplina. 

33 Cum ergo et parentium cur a et praeceptorum doctrinis 

34 auctas haberem copias disciplinarum, philologis et philo- 

35 techinis rebus commentariorumque scripturis me delectans, 

36 eas possessiones animo paravi e quibus haec est fructuum 

37 summa: nullas plus habendi esse necessitates, eamque esse 

38 proprietatem divitiarum maxime nihil desiderare. Sed forte 

39 nonnulli haec levia iudicantes putant eos esse sapientes qui 

40 pecunia sunt copiosi. Itaque plerique ad id propositum 

41 contendentes, audacia adhibita, cum divitiis etiam notitiam 

Fourth Period 31 

42 sunt consecuti. Ego autem, Caesar, non ad pecuniam pa- 

43 randam ex arte dedi studium, sed potius tenuitatem cum 

44 bona fama quam abundantiam cum infamia sequendam 

45 probavi. Ideo notities parum est adsecuta. Sed tamen his 

46 voluminibus editis, ut spero, etiam posteris ero notus. . . . 

47 Cum autem animadverto ab indoctis et imperitis tantae 

48 disciplinae magnitudinem iactari et ab Is qui non modo ar- 

49 chitecturae sed omnino ne fabricae quidem notitiam habent, 

50 non possum non laudare patres familiarum eos qui littera- 

51 turae fiducia confirmati per se aedificantes ita indicant: si 

52 imperitis sit committendum, ipsos potius digniores esse ad 

53 suam voluntatem quam ad alienam pecuniae consumere sum- 

54 mam. Itaque nemo artem ullam aliam conatur domi facere, 

55 uti sutrinam, fullonicam, aut ex ceteris quae sunt faciliores, 

56 nisi architecturam, ideo quod qui profitentur non arte vera 

57 sed falso nominantur architecti. Quas ob res corpus archi- 

58 tecturae rationesque eius putavi diligentissime conscriben- 

59 das, opinans munus omnibus gentibus non ingratum futu- 

60 rum. Igitur ... in hoc volumine privatorum aedificiorum 

61 ratiocinationes et commensus symmetriarum explicabo. 

Architecture and Climate 

1 Haec autem ita erunt recte disposita, si primo animad- 

2 versum fuerit, quibus regionibus aut quibus incHnationibus 

3 mundi constituantur. Namque ahter Aegypto, ahter 

4 Hispania, non eodem modo Ponto, dissimiliter Romae, 

5 item ceteris terrarum et regionum proprietatibus oportere 

6 videntur constitui genera aedificiorum, quod alia parte solis 

7 cursu premitur tellus, aha longe ab eo distat, aha per medium 

8 temperatur. Igitur, uti constitutio mundi ad terrae spa- 

9 tium, incHnatione signiferi circuli et soHs cursu, disparibus 

10 qualitatibus naturaHter est collocata, ad eundem modum et- 

1 1 iam ad regionum rationes caelique varietates videntur aedi- 

12 ficiorum debere dirigi collocationes. Sub septentrione aedi- 

13 ficia testudinata et maxime conclusa et non patentia, sed 

14 conversa ad caUdas partes oportere fieri videntur. Contra 

32 National or Classical Roman Literature 

15 autem sub impetu solis meridianis regionibus, quod premun- 

16 tur a calore, patentiora conversaque ad septentrionem et 

17 aquilonem sunt facienda. Ita quod ultro natura laedit arte 

18 erit emendandum. Item reliquis regionibus ad eundem 

19 modum debet temperari, quemadmodum caelum est ad in- 

20 clinationem mundi collocatum. 

Room Exposure 

1 Nunc explicabimus, quibus proprietatibus genera aedifi- 

2 ciorum ad usum et caeli regiones aptas debeant spectare. 

3 Hiberna triclinia et balnearia ad occidentem hibernum spec- 

4 tent, ideo quod vespertino lumine opus est uti, praeterea 

5 quod etiam sol occidens adversus habens splendorem, calo- 

6 rem remittens, efficit vespertino tempore regionem tepidio- 

7 rem. Cubicula et bybliothecae ad orientem spectare debent ; 

8 usus enim matutinum postulat lumen, item in bybliothecis 

9 libri non putrescent. Nam quaecumque ad meridiem et oc- 

10 cidentem spectant, ab tineis et humore libri vitiantur, quod 

11 venti humidi advenientes procreant eas et alunt infunden- 

12 tesque humidos spiritus pallore volumina corrumpunt. 

13 Triclinia verna et autumnalia ad orientem; tum enim prae- 

14 tenta luminibus, adversus solis impetus progrediens ad occi- 

15 dentem efficit ea temperata ad id tempus quo his solitum est 

16 uti. Aestiva ad septentrionem, quod ea regio (ut reliquae 

17 per solstitium propter calorem efficiuntur aestuosae), eo 

18 quod est aversa a solis cursu, semper refrigerata et salubri- 

19 tatem et voluptatem in usu praestat. Non minus pinaco- 

20 thecae et plumariorum textrina pictorumque officinae, uti 

21 colores eorum in opere propter constantiam luminis im- 

22 mutata permaneant qualitate. 


(Born in 70 B.C.; active from SO-19 B.C.) 

His Life and Works 

The most celebrated Roman poet was of humble origin — son 

of a well-to-do farmer and born in a hamlet near Mantua. 

Fourth Period 33 

Vergil must have been a child of promise, for in spite of his rural 
birth he received an excellent education — first in the provincial 
towns of Cremona and Milan, then at Rome. Unmarried and 
shunning notoriety, he later lived a quiet studious life — devoted 
to philosophy and poetry, and preferring the seclusion of his villa 
near Naples. A shy but attractive personality won for him the 
friendship of his greatest contemporaries. Not of robust health, 
he died at the age of fifty-one. 

The works of Vergil are: (1) a collection of miscellaneous poems 
ascribed to his boyhood and early youth; (2) ten pastoral idylls, 
the Eclogues; (3) a didactic poem on husbandry, the Georgics; and 
(4) the Aeneid. 

It is difficult to pass judgment on the work of Vergil. For 
eighteen centuries his reputation as the greatest of all poets was 
hardly questioned. But in the nineteenth century of our era a 
great revolution in taste took place, favoring the primitive, the 
spontaneous, and the natural in all fields of artistic creation; 
primitive painting and sculpture, folk music, ballads, and folk 
epics began to claim universal admiration. This complete rever- 
sal of aesthetic principles dethroned Vergil. Whereas previously 
men had seen only his perfection of form — taking for granted the 
traditional dignity and sublimity of his epic theme, they now 
saw only his artificiality — the borrowed subject matter and at- 
mosphere ; the characters drawn, not from life, but from the pages 
of Greek literature. Nevertheless, one simple fact must be kept 
in mind — i.e., Vergil and all his contemporaries were wholly 
unconscious of their artificiality. Dazzled by the greatness of 
Greek literature, they sincerely tried to imitate and thus to re- 
create its marvellous effects — not appreciating that much of its 
greatness was rooted in the soil. What Greek authors had created 
from the folklore and folk ways of their people, no man can match 

But Vergil was not shallow. Though bound by the fetters of 
tradition and unable to mold his thoughts in forms other than 
those sanctioned by Greek literature, he sensed a larger sphere of 
expression and strove to suggest thoughts by overtones. He 
meditated deeply and felt the tragedy and romance of life, but 

34 National or Classical Roman Literature 

expressed these deeper feelings only indirectly, remotely, and al- 
legorically. It is the world's great loss that Vergil never voiced 
his thoughts and philosophy for himself, like a Lucretius or a 

The Eclogues 

The work that brought Vergil his first renown was his Eclogues. 
Their initial popularity was due in considerable measure to two 
factors: (1) their novelty — for they introduced the pastoral to Ro- 
man literature; and (2) external circumstances attending the 
composition of several of the poems. 

Pastoral, or bucolic, poetry — creation of the Alexandrian poet 
Theocritus — exemplifies in the highest degree Greek artistic 
genius. Fundamentally the Greek pastoral expresses the admira- 
tion of sophisticated society for the simple life and natural feelings 
of the unspoiled rustic. It was therefore a product of the 
Alexandrian age — when civilization had become so hectic and 
complicated that men turned ''back to nature," finding spiritual 
refreshment and romantic charm in the lives of humble shepherds, 
neatherds, and fishermen. Theocritus found rich material for 
his genius in the native songs of Greek Sicilian peasants. Of 
course his pastorals were no mere transcript of their rude songs; 
though delicate, refined, and artificial, they were based on a 
sound and genuine stratum of reality. Not the least of their 
charm lies in the artistic use of native dialect, the broad rustic 
speech of the Dorian Greeks of Sicily — an effect comparable to 
the literary adaptation of the Scotch dialect by Robert Burns. 

Vergil's imitation of Theocritus is characteristic of all his work, 
as of classical Latin literature in general. Though deeply imbued 
with a love of Italian country life and well fitted by temperament 
to reproduce the Greek pastoral in Latin verse, Vergil imitated too 
closely the details and atmosphere of the Greek master. But 
perhaps this was unavoidable, for Italy had no romantic, flute- 
playing shepherds. Italian peasants were sturdy, honest folk, 
with little poetry in their souls; their dialects had never shown the 

Fourth Period 35 

slightest literary development, nor could they be fitted into verse 
forms that the Romans had painfully adapted to the Latin 
from Greek models. Vergil could therefore only transplant — 
one might almost say paraphrase — Theocritus. Consequently 
his shepherds are like the characters in Roman comedy — Greek in 
name and habit, but singing their lays in courtly Latin hexam- 
eters. Though sweet and mellifluous, these lays are one stage 
further removed from the soil — an echo of an echo. Only now 
and then, in a descriptive passage, do we get a touch of local color 
suggesting the beauty of Italian peasant life. 

It is also characteristic of Vergil that he should have striven 
to express other and remoter ideas — either indirectly or by impli- 
cation — through the medium of the pastoral form, and should 
thus have been the founder of pastoral allegory. In fact Vergil 
eclipsed Theocritus in this respect, setting the standard for all sub- 
sequent pastoral poetry in all languages. The pastoral scene and 
puppet figures of the shepherds became a mask — a sort of con- 
ventional literary drama — by means of which any ideas could be 
expressed, any events narrated, or any circumstances covertly 
alluded to. The history of literature presents no more illogical 
development than this. 

The First Eclogue (not first in time of composition, but placed 
first in the published collection of his pastorals) may be taken as 
the best example both of Vergil's genuine love of country life and 
of his use of the pastoral form to suggest events and personages 
not definitely described or named — i.e., to carry an allegory. As 
already mentioned, it was the unusual character of events to 
which he alluded that helped bring renown to this volume of 
Eclogues. A stranger from another world might not have known 
what Vergil was driving at, but his contemporaries were well 
aware that in 42 B.C., after the battle of Philippi, the district of 
Cremona — and soon thereafter the district of Mantua — was ex- 
propriated by the government to provide farms for veterans of the 
victorious armies. The former owners of the land were evicted, 
and Vergil thus lost his paternal estate. The Ninth Eclogue 
(which antedates the first) portrays two rustics bewailing their 
treatment at the hands of interlopers and recounting how one of 

36 National or Classical Roman Literature 

their fellows, Menalcas, sought to save the district of Mantua from 
expropriation by addressing a poem to Varus. As it was Vergil 
himself who made this vain appeal, the allusion to current events 
was obvious. The First Eclogue^ on the other hand, depicts an 
evicted shepherd, named Meliboeus, envying the good fortune of 
Tityrus, who has escaped eviction by appealing to the youthful 
god reigning in Rome. Inasmuch as Vergil had recovered his 
estate — or had perhaps been recompensed in some other way — by 
appealing to Octavian, the identification of Vergil with Tityrus 
is again obvious. 

It is hardly necessary to say that the Eclogues are masterly in 
technique of versification and diction. Soon after their publica- 
tion, Horace eulogized VergiUs work as molle atquefacetum (delicate 
and witty). No doubt the poet's contemporaries enjoyed him in 
the guise of a shepherd as a delightful bit of humor, but 
The6critus and his friends playing the same role — as they some- 
times did — , were taken more seriously. 

Eclogue I 
[The characters are: Meliboeus and Tityrus, two peasant- 

1 Me. Tityre, tu patulae recubans sub tegmine fagi 

2 silvestrem tenui musam liieditaris avena : 

3 nos patriae finis et dulcia linquimus arva. 

4 Nos patriam fugimus: tu, Tityre, lentus in umbra, 

5 ^'formosam^' resonare doces "Amaryllida" silvas. 

6 Ti. O Meliboee, deus nobis haec otia fecit. 

7 Namque erit ille mihi semper deus; illius aram 

8 saepe tener nostris ab ovilibus imbuet agnus. 

9 Ille meas errare boves, ut^cernis, et ipsum 

10 ludere quae vellem calamo permisit agresti. 

1 1 Me. Non eqviidem in video, miror magis : undique totis 

12 usque adeo turbatur agris. En ipse capellas 

13 protinus aeger ago; hanc etiam vix, Tityre^ duco. 

14 Hie inter densas corylos modo namque gemellos 

15 (spem gregis ah) silice in nuda conixa reliquit. 

Fourth Period 37 , 

^^16 Saepe malum hoc nobis, si mens non laeva fuisset, _ ^^^ ^ ^ s' ^"^ 

c'll„., 17 de caelo tactas memini praedicere quercus. J^. ,^^ 

18 Sed tamen iste deus qui sit, da, Tityre, nobis. 

19 Ti. Urbem quam dicunt^ Romam, Meliboee, putavi 

20 stultus ego huic nostrae similem, quo saepe solemus 

21 pastores ovium teneros depellere fetus. ^ ^ ^^ 

22 Sic canibus catiilos similis, sic matribus haedos' ,0 -"^ 
_^ — 23 noram, sic parvis componere magna solebani. 

24 Verum haec tantum alias inter caput extulit urbes, 

25 quantum lenta solent inter vibiirna cupressi. 

26 Me. Et quae tanta fuit Romam tibi causa videndi? 

27 Ti. Libertas, quae sera tamen respexit inertem, 

28 candidior postquam tondenti barba cadebat; 

29 respexit tamen et longo post tempore venit, 

30 postquam nos Amaryllis habet, Galatea reliquit. 

31 Nam que (fatebor enim), dum me Galatea tenebat, 
^, — ^32 nec spes libertatis erat nee cura peculi. 

33 Quamvis multa meis exiret victima sa^piis', ' 

34 pinguis et ingratae premeretur caseus urbi, 

35 non umquam gravis acre domum mihi dextra redibat. 

36 Me. Mirabar quid maesta deos, Amarylli, vocares; 

37 cui pendere sua patereris in arbore poma. 

38 Tityrus hinc aberat! Ipsae te, Tityre, pinus, \ 

39 ipsi te fontes, ipsa haec arbusta vocabant. ^^'^'"'^ 

40 Ti. Quid facerem? Neque servitio me exire licebat \^^ 

41 nec tam prae^entis alibi cbgnoscere divos. v.,,-— ^ 'V 

42 Hie ilium vidi iuvenem, Meliboee, quotannis ^' 

43 ^bis senos cui nostra dies altarla fumant. 

44 Hie mihi responsum primus dedit ille petenti: 

45 "Pascite ut ante boves, pueri; suminittite tauros." 

46 Me. Fortunate senex, ergo tua rura manebunt. 

47 Et tibi magna satis — quamvis lapis omnia nudus 

48 limosoque palus obducat pascua iunco: ^,.s . 

49 non insueta gravis temptabunt pabula fetas, 

50 nec mala vicini pecoris contagia laedent. 

51 Fortunate senex, hie inter flumina nota 

52 et fontis sacros frigus captabis opacum. 


38 National or Classical Roman Literature 

53 Hinc tibi, quae semper vicino ab limite saepes 

54 Hyblaeis apibus florem depasta salicti, 

55 saepe levi somnum suadebit inire susurro: 

56 hinc alt a sub rupe canet frolidator ad auras; 

57 nee tamen interea raucae (tua cura) palumbes, 

58 nee geMere aeria cessabit turtur ab ulm6. 

59 Ti. Ante leves ergo pascentur in aethere cervi, 

60 et freta destituent nudos in litore piscis, 

61 ante (pererratis amborum.finibus) exsul 

62 aut Ararim Parthus bibet aut Germania Tigrim, 

63 quam nostro illius labatur pectore vultus. 

64 Me. At nos hinc alii sitientis ibimus Afros, 

65 pars Scythiam et rapidum cretae veniemus Oaxen 

66 et penitus toto divisos orbe Britannos. 

67 En umquam patrios longo post tempore finis^ 

68 pauperis et tuguri congestum caespite culnien, 

69 post aliquot (mea regna) videns mirabor aristas? 

70 Impius haec tarn culta novalia miles habebit, 

71 barbarus has segetes: en quo discordia civis 

72 produxit miseros: his nos consevimus agros! 

73 Iiisere nunc, Meliboee, piros; pone ordine vitis. 

74 Ite meae, quondam felix pecus, ite capellae. 

75 Non ego vos posthac, viridi proiectus in antro, 

76 - dumosa pendere procul de rupe videbo; 

77 carmina nulla canam; non, me pascente, capellae, 

78 florentem cytisum et salices carpetis amaras. 

79 Ti. Hie tamen banc mecum poteras requiescere noctem 

80 fronde super viridi: sXmt nobis mitia poma, 

81 castaneae molles et pressi copia lactis, 

82 et iam summa procul villarum culmina fumant, 

83 maioresque cadunt altis de montibus umbrae. 

• .«-y^"^ [2] ^.-^^.>^ 

Eclogue IV /' \^'' 

[This is known as the '^Messianic" eclogue.] ^^'^ 

1 Sicelides Musae, paulo maiora canamus! 

2 Non omnis arbusta iuvant humilesque myricae. 

Fourth Period 39 

4 Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis aetas; ^ ^ x^; 


3 Si canimus silvas, silvae sint consule dignae. » V- ^'"^^ ^. 

4 Ultima Cumaei venit iam carminis aetas; ^ ^ ^ 

5 magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo. A 

6 lam redit et virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna, 

7 Jam nova progenies caelo demittitur alto. 

8 Tu modo nascenti puero, quo ferrea primum "^ ' \^ 

9 desinet ac toto surget gens aurea mundo, ^^ ' ' ■ 
, , 10 casta fave Lucina: tuus iam regnat Apollo. >, ,vn^ ^V 

11 Teque adeo, decus hoc aevi, te consule, inibit, 

12 Pollio, et incipient magni procedere menses. 

/ 13 Te duce, si qua manent sceleris vestigia nostri, ^\^a 

14 irrita perpetua solvent formidine terras. v,.^^ ^ 

15 lUe detim vitam accipiet divisque videbit ^ ,A"^" 
3 16 permixtos heroas^t ipse videbitur iliis, \r^A -.'^ '^^,,V 

17 pacatumque reget patriis virtutibus orbem. ^ ^"^^^^^ 

18 At tibi prima, puer, nuUo munuscula cultu, '^^^'' ^ j^ 
YiQ errantis heder^s passim cum baccare tellus ^^\ ^^ "^ 

^ 20 mixtaque ridenti colocasia fundet acantho, '' ^"'^ 

21 Ipsae lacte domum referent distenta capellae \^..^^ V^' 

22 ubera, nee magnos metuent armenta leones. ^" ' 

23 Ipsa tibi blandos fiindent cunabula flores. 

24 Occidet et serpens, et fallax herba veneni v/v .A ^ 

25 occidet. Assyrium vulgo nascetur amoihum.^ v^ 

26 At simul heroum laudes et facta parentis 

27 iam legere et quae sit poteris cognoscere virtus, . 

28 moUi paulatim flavescet campus arista, " ' ^^"^ 

29 incultisque rubens pendebit sentibus uva, 

30 et durae quercus sudabunt roscida mella. 

31 Pauca tamen suberunt priscae vestigia fraudis, 

32 quae tempt are Thetim ratibus, quae cingere muris 

33 oppida, quae iubeant telluri infindere sulcos. 

34 Alter erit tum Tiphys et altera quae vehat Argo 
i5 delect OS heroas; erunt etiam altera bella 

16 atque iterum ad Troiam magnus mittetur Achilles. 

7 Hihc, ubi iam firmata virum te fecerit aetas, 

8 cedet et ipse mari vector, nee nautica pinus 
» mutabit merces: omnis feret omnia tellus. 

40 National or Classical Roman Literature 

40 NonVastros patietur humus, non vinea falcem; 

41 robustus quoque iam tauris iuga sol vet arator; 

42 nee varios discet mentiri lana colores, 
^43 ipse sed in pratis aries iam suave rubenti'^ 

44 murice, iam croceo mutabit vellera luto; 
^5 sponte sua sandyx pascentis vestiet agnos. ,4U5 

46 "Talia saecla" suis dixerunt "currite" fusis 

47 Concordes stabili fatorum numine Parcae. 

48 Aggredere O magnos — aderit iam tempus— honores, 

49 cara deum suboles, magnum lovis increm^htum ! 

50 Aspice convexo nutaniem pondere mundum, v ^xv- 

51 terrasque tractusque maris caelumque profundum. 

52 Aspice venturo laetentur ut omnia saeclo! 

53 O, mihi tum longae maneat pars ultima vitae, 

54 spiritus et quantum sat erit tua dicere facta! 

55 Non me carminibus vincet nee Thracius Orpheus 

56 nee Linus, huic mater quamvis atque huic pater adsit — 

57 Orphei Calliopea, Lino formosus Apollo. 

58 Pan etiam Arcadia mecum si iudice certet, ^,, ^^ y 

59 Pan etiam Arcadia dicat se iudice victum. 

60 Incipe parve puer, risu cognoscere matrem. 

61 Matri longa decem tulerunt fastidia menses. 

62 Incipe, parve puer : qui non risere parenti, 

63 nee deus hunc mensa, dea nee dighata cubili est. 


T/ie Georgics 

The art of agriculture was a very ancient and highly deve- 
loped one in Italy. With it was associated all the old romance 
of the sturdy yeomanry of primitive Italy, of those heroes who — 
like the minute men of the American colonies — left the plow 
to fight for their country, returning to it when the fight- 
ing was done. Augustus was deeply concerned to heal the 
wounds of civil war and restore Italy's agricultural life. His 
loyal supporter, Vergil, contributed a poet's efforts to further this 
policy by composing the Georgics, a didactic or instructive poem. 


.\ ^^.-c-..-^ Wa.w V-^^-v 


Fourth Period 41 

The principal subjects of its four books are: (1) the soil and seas- 
ons; (2) trees and the grapevine; (3) domestic animals; and (4) 
bees. The ''didactic" element, however, must not be taken too 
literally. Beginning with the Works and Days of the early Greek 
poet Hesiod — from whom Vergil drew his inspiration — , didactic 
poetry plays a larger role in classical than in modern literature; 
but the ''instruction" imparted by poets was always secondary 
rather than fundamental, romantic rather than real. No Roman 
dirt farmer ever consulted Vergil's Georgics for practical instruc- 
tion in agricultural processes; for one thing, the poem contains 
only a fraction of what one would want to know. The purpose — 
and achievement — of Vergil's Georgics was to glorify and ennoble 
agriculture, and he adopted the didactic structure merely as a 
framework — one might even say camouflage — for his subject, 
imparting just enough instruction to carry his eulogistic rhapso- 
dies and poetic digressions. The Georgics achieved even greater 
fame than the mellifluous Bucolics^ and marked Vergil as the 
man destined to compose the great national epic. 

The Blessings of a Farmer's Life 

O fortunatos nimium, sua si bona norint, 

agricolas! quibus ipsa procul discordibus armis 

fundit humo facilem victum iustissima tellus. 

Si non ingentem foribus domus alta superbis ^\ 

mane salutantum totis vomit aedibus undam, J^^^ 

nee varios inhiant pulchra testudine postis ..-V ^.>^ 

illusasque auro vestis Ephyreiaque aera, ^ \_^* ^^ ""^'''"^ 

8 alba neque Assyrio fucatur lana veneno, ^ '^ 

9 nee cassia liquidi corrumpitur usus olivi; 

10 at secura quies et nescia fallere vita, ,^ v.<^^ 

11 dives opum variarum — at latis otia fundis, 

12 speluncae vivique lacus et frigida tempe 

13 mugitusque boum mollesque sub arbore somni — 

14 non absunt; lilic saltus ac lustra ferarum, 

15 et patiens operum exiguoque adsueta inventus, 

16 sacra deum sanctique patres; extrema per illos 

\ ^ 


42 National or Classical Roman Literature 

17 lustitia, excedens terris, vestigia fecit. 

18 Fortunatus et ille, deos qui novit agrestis 

19 Panaque Silvanumque senem Nymphasque sorores. 

20 Ilium non populi fasces, non purpura regum 

21 flexit etinfidos agitans Discordia fratres, ,.. ^)...\^ 

22 aut coniurato descendens Dacus ab Histro, 

23 non res Komanae perituraque regna; neque ille- "^^ 

24 aut doluit miserans inopem aut invidit habenti. 

25 Quos rami fructus, quos ipsa volentia rura 

26 sponte tulere sua, carpsit; nee ferrea iura 

27 insanumque forum aut populi tabularia vidit. 

28 SoUicitant alii remis freta caeca, ruuntque ,3"^ -x^^ 

29 in ferrum, penetrant aulas et limina regum. ^^^ ^' 

30 Hie petit excidiis urbem miserosque penatis, 

31 ut gemma bibat et Sarrano dormiat osiro. 

32 Condit opes alius defossoque incubat auro. 

33 Hie stupet attonitus rostris. Hunc plausus hiantem 

34 per cuneos (geminatus enim plebisque patrumque) 

35 corripuit. Gaudent perfusi sanguine fratrum, ^^ 

36 exilioque domos et dulcia limina mutant >*^=^ , 

37 atque alio patriam quaerunt sub sole iacentem. 

Country Joys 

1 Agricola incurvo terram dimovit aratro. \L^ 

2 Hinc anni labor. Hinc patriam parvosque nepotes 

3 sustinet, hinc armenta boum meritosque iuvencos. ^^ 

4 Nee requies, quin aut pomis exuberet annus ^ "^ 

5 aut fetu pecorum aut Cerealis mergite culmi, 

6 proventuque oneret sulcos atque horrea vincat. 

7 Venit hiems: teritur Sicyonia baca trapetis; v^ 

8 glande sues laeti redeunt; dant arbuta silvae; 

9 et varios ponit fetus autumnus, et alte 

10 mitis in apricis coquitur vindemia saxis. 

11 Interea dulces pendent circum oscula nati; 

12 casta pudicitiam servat domus; ubera vaccae 


, \ ,,\ Fourth Period 43 

13 lactea demittunt; pinguesque in gramine laeto 

14 inter se adversis luctantur cornibus haedi. ^^w- 

15 Ipse dies agit at festos; fususque per her bam '^ _ .-^^~>\ 


16 (ignis ubi in medio, et socii cratera, corbnant) 

_ 17 te libans, Lenaee, vocat; p^corisque rnagistris . ,^ ^ ^^ u"^ 

18 velocis iacuU certamina ponit in ulmo; ' 

^__ia_ii^orporaque agresti nudant praedura palaestra. 

20 llanc ohm veteres vitam coluere Sabini. 

21 hanc Rejnus et f rater; sic fortis Etruria crevit; 

22 scilicet et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma n^ 

23 septemque iiiia sibi muro circumdedit arce^. 

24 Ante etiam sceptrum Dictaei regis et ante 

25 impia quam caesis gens est epulata iuvencis^ ^ , 

26 aureus hanc vitam in terris Saturnus agebat; 

27 necdum etiam audier^nt inflari classica, necdum 

28 impositos duris crepitare incudibus ensis. ,^ v^'^^'^ 

.>'^' , - Various Practical Precepts ^ 













' -' ; 


1 Possum multa tibi veterum praecepta referre, 

2 ni refugis tenuisque piget cognoscere curas. 


[a] On Making a Threshing Floor 

3 Area cum primis ingenti aequanda cylindro 

4 et vertenda manu et creta solidanda tenaci, 

5 ne subeant herbae neu pulvere victa fatiscat, 

6 tum variae illudant pestes^ — saepe exiguus mus 

7 sub terris^ posuitque domos atque Horrea fecit, 

8 aut Oculis capti fodere cubilia talpae, 

9 inventusque cavis bufo, et quae plurima terrae 

10 monstra ferunt, populatque inpentem f arris acervum 

1 1 cuTculio atque inopi metuens formica senectae. 

[b] Harvest Prognostication From the Blossoming 
of Wild Nut Trees , , .>. 

12 Contemplator item, cum se nux plurima silvis 

13 induet in florem et ramos curvabit olentis: 

, 1 


1 j 


■ ■ >' 








44 National or Classical Roman Literature 

14 si superant fetus, pariter frumenta sequentur 

15 magnaque cum magno veniet tritura calore; 

16 at si luxuria fpliorum exuberat umbra, . . 

17 nequiquam (pinguis palea) teret area culmos. 

[c] On the Chemical Treatment of Seeds Before Planting 

18 Semina vidi equidem multos medicare serentis 

19 et nitro prius et nigra perfundere amurca, ^ ^ .\ vi«\ 

20 grandior ut fetus siliquis fallacibus esset; ,r^' 

21 et quamvis igni exiguo prOperata maderent,"" '' 

22 vidi lecta diu et multo spectata labore 

23 degenerare tamen, ni vis humana quotannis 

24 maxima quaeque manu legeret. Sic omnia fatis 

25 in peius ruere ac retro sublapsa referri, 

26 non aliter quam qui ad verso vix flumine lembum 

27 remigiis subigit, si bracchia forte remisit — 

28 atque ilium in praeceps prono rapit alveus amni. 


1 Vere tument terrae et genitalia semina poscunt. 

2 Tum pater omnipotens fecundis imbribus Aether 

3 coniugis in gremium laetae descendit, et omnis 

4 magnus alit magno commixtus corpore fetus. 

5 Avia tum resonant avibus virgulta canoris, 

6 et Venerem certis repetunt armenta diebus. 

7 Parturit almus ager Zephyrique trementibus auris 

8 laxant arva sinus. Super at tener omnibus umor, 

9 inque novos soles audent se gramina tuto 

10 credere, nee metuit surgentis pampinus Austros 

1 1 aut actum caelo magnis Aquilonibus imbrem, ^^ . "^ . *^ 

12 sed trudit gemmas et frondes explicat omnis. , -' y,^"^',, 

13 Non alios prima crescentis origine mundi / s.^' 

14 inluxisse dies aliumve habuisse tenorem ^"^x 

15 crediderim: ver illud erat, ver magnus agebat 

16 orbis, et hibernis parcebant flatibus Euri, 

17 cum primae lucem pecudes hausere, virumque 

Fourth Period 45 

18 terrea progenies duris caput extulit arvis, 

19 immissaeque ferae silvis et sidera caelo. 

20 Nee res hunc tenerae possent perferre laborem, 

21 si non tanta quies iret frigusque caloremque 

22 inter, et exciperet caeli indulgentia terras. ^ v Av v ^*^^^"* 

[5] ' 

Sheep and Goats 

1 Nunc, veneranda Pales, magno nunc ore sonandum. 

2 Incipiens stabulis edico in mollibus herbam 

3 carpere ovis, dum mox frondosa reducitur aestas, 

4 et multa duram stipula filicumque maniplis 

5 sternere subter humum, glacies ne frigida laedat 

6 molle pecus scabiemque ferat turpisque podagras. 

7 Post hinc digressus, iubeo frondentia capris 

8 arbuta sufficere et fluvios praebere recfentis, 

9 et stabula a ventis hiberno opponere soli 

10 ad medium conversa diem, cum frigidus olim 

11 iam cadit extremoque inrorat Aquarius anno. 

12 At vero Zephyris cum laeta vocantibus aestas 

13 in saltus utrumque gregem at que in pascua mittet, 

14 Luciferi primo cum sidere frigida rura 

15 carpamus, dum mane novum, dum gramina canent, 

16 et ros in tenera pecori gratissimus herba. 

17 Inde ubi quarta sitim caeli collegerit hora— C"^ ^'^\ 

18 et cantu querulae rumpent arbusta cicadae, 

19 ad puteos aut alta greges ad stagna iubebo 

20 currentem ilignis potare caiialibus undam; 

21 aestibus at mediis umbrosam exquirere vallem, 

22 sicubi magna lovis antiquo robore quercus 

23 ingentis tendat ramos, aut sicubi nigrum 

24 ilicibus crebris sacra nemus accubet umbra; 

25 tum tenuis dare rursus aquas et pascere rursus 

26 solis ad occasum, cum frigidus aera vesper 

27 temperat, et saltus reficit iam roscida luna, 

28 litoraque alcyonen resonant, acalanthida dumi. 

^ • \^>- \ V 



46 National or Classical Roman Literature 

The Marvellous Instincts of Bees 


1 Nunc age, naturas, apibus quas luppiter ipse . \ 

2 addidit, expediam .... , . . '^ ^^^ 

3 Solae communis natos, consortia tecta / 

4 urbis habent, magnisque agitant sub legibus aevum, 

5 et patriam solae et certos novere penatis; 

6 venturaeque hiemis memores aestate laborem 

7 experiuntur et in medium quaesita reponunt. 

8 Namque aliae victu in vigilant et toedere pacto 
9 exercentur agris; pars intra saepta domorum 

10 narcissi lacrimam et lentum de cortice gluten 

1 1 prima f avis ponunt f undamina, deinde tenacis 
^ ,^12 suspendunt ceras; aliae spem gentis adultos 

\< 13 educunt fetus; aliae pur issima mella ,i, 

14 stipant et liquidq dis^endunt nectare cellas. 

15 Sunt quibus ad portas cecidit custodia sorti, 

16 inque vicem speculantur aquas et nubila caeli, 

17 aut onera accipiunt venientum, aut agmine ^acto 

18 ignavum fucos piecus a praesepibus arcent. ,.>^'^ 

19 Fervet opus, redolent que thy mo fragrantia mella. 



20 Omnibus una quies operum, labor omnibus unus. 

21 Mane ruunt portis — nusquam mora; rursus easdem 

22 vesper ubi e pastu tandem decedere campis 

23 admonuit, tum tecta petunt, tum corpora curant; 

24 fit sonitus, mussantque oras et limina circum. 

25 Post, ubi iam thalamis se composuere, siletur 

26 in noctem, fessosque sopor suus occupat artus. 

27 Rege incolumi, mens omnibus una est; 

28 amisso, rupere fidem, constructaque mella 

29 diripuere ipsae, et cratis solvere favorum. 

30 Ille operum custos. Ilium admirantur et omnes 

31 circumstant fremitu denso stipantque frequentes, 

32 et saepe attoUunt umeris et corpora bello 

33 obiectant pulchramque petunt per vulnera mortem. 

Fourth Period 47 

34 His quidam signis at que haec exempla secuti _^ . 

35 esse apibus partem divinae mentis et haustus 

36 aetherios dixere; Deum namque ire per omnis 

37 terrasque tractusque maris caelumque profundum; 

38 hinc pecudes, armenta, viros, genus omne ferarum, 

39 quemque sibi tenuis nascentem arcessere vitas; 

40 scilicet riuc reddi deinde ac resoluta referri 

41 omnia, )^ec morti esse locum, sed viva volare 

42 sideris in numerum atque alto succedere caelo. 



(Born on Dec. 8, 65 B.C.; active from 40-S B.C.) 

His Life and Works 

Horace has always been the most beloved of Roman poets. 
Far from abating, his popularity has increased to the present day 
— at least relatively. Today he is the only Latin poet who may be 
called " popular '^ — in the sense that his more familiar odes appeal 
in translation, adaptation, and parody to a public to whom clas- 
sical literature as a whole means nothing. 

The reason for this is not hard to find : Horace was concerned 
with the art of living — i.e., of adjusting oneself to a difficult and 
perplexing world. As long as civilization remains essentially the 
same (and it has shown but little signs of change in the past 2000 
years), his plea for tolerance, urbanity, self-respect, and a sense of 
humor will continue to appeal to rnen and help them in their 

For a concrete expression of his philosophy of life, it was natural 
that Horace should draw chiefly from that source of which he 
was surest — namely, his own experience. Bit by bit, therefore, 
his works reveal the poet's life and character — his training and 
education, great adventures of his youth, his maturer personality, 
friendships and enmities, likes and dislikes — altogether one of the 
most attractive and candid self-portraits ever painted. 

Horace came of even humbler stock than Vergil; his father was 
some sort of petty tradesman and an ex-slave — presumably one of 
those who saved enough money by industry and thrift to purchase 

48 National or Classical Roman Literature 

his freedom. Of his mother nothing is known; we can only infer 
from the poet's silence that she died in his infancy. Horace was 
born in Venusia, a mountain village of South-Central Italy, 
situated on the Appian Way. Though sturdy rustics, its folk 
were not isolated from the great world — for the Appian Way was 
the chief artery of traffic between Rome and Greece. 

Horace must have been a promising child; for when his father 
found the schools of Venusia inadequate, he moved to Rome — 
resolved, in spite of limited means, to give his son the best educa- 
tion the metropolis could offer. The foundations of Horace's 
character were laid by the devotion and common sense of his 
father, whose final act of self-sacrifice was to send his son — then 
about twenty years of age — to Athens. Here Horace joined the 
group of gifted young Romans who were engaged in the study of 
Greek literature and philosophy. 

The outbreak of civil war abruptly ended two years of foreign 
study. Like most of his fellow students, Horace had become an 
ardent young republican, and it was from these young poets and 
dreamers that Brutus recruited the officers for his republican 
army. Horace became a "captain" and fought at Philippi! If 
the majority of officers were as innocent of military experience as 
he, small wonder that Brutus' army met with defeat. 

Horace returned to Rome after the general amnesty. His 
father had died in the meantime, and Horace used what funds 
remained to purchase a clerkship in the treasury department (jobs 
were evidently for sale). Well-educated, but penniless and ob- 
scure, Horace now had abundant opportunity to meditate upon a 
philosophy of life ! Since his official duties were not onerous, he 
began schooling himself in the art of verse composition, hoping 
thereby some day to make his fortune. Later in life, when his 
fortune was made, he still remained a member of the guild of 
clerks — the ''union" to which he had belonged in the days of his 
obscurity; and no more engaging picture can be imagined than 
the famous poet (still "Quint us" to his old comrades) faithfully 
attending meetings of the "local." 

Now definitely aspiring to poetic fame, Horace deliberately 
considered what types of verse composition would most attract 

Fourth Period 49 

public attention, and then proceeded with characteristic self- 
discipline to master these. They were: (1) lyric poetry — in the 
Greek sense; and (2) satire. To be sure, Catullus had made a 
start in the first type, but only so slight a start that the possibili- 
ties were dazzling for one who could accomplish the difficult feat 
of casting Latin into the mold of Greek lyric verse. The satire 
Horace had in mind was of the sort Lucilius so brilliantly origin- 
ated in the age of Terence — ^witty, intimate, and ranibling com- 
ment on men and manners. But whereas the style of Lucilius 
had been diffuse and lax, Horace determined, while retaining the 
latter's spirit, to write a more polished, subtle and epigrammatic 
style — one more in accord with the literary taste of his own age. 

Of the two, mastering the lyric was the more difficult task, 
and Horace began in a tentative way by composing epodes — a 
rather vaguely defined type of verse, semi-lyric in form. His 
early epodes and satires, which were privately circulated as soon 
as they were written, at once attracted the attention and support 
of leading contemporary poets, chief among whom were Vergil 
and Varius. Through them came the great opportunity of 
Horace's literary career — namely, his introduction to the dis- 
tinguished patron of letters, Maecenas. The relation of patron 
and protege quickly ripened into deep friendship. 

In about 35 B.C., Horace published his first book of Satires — 
ten in number — , and the following year was endowed for life by 
Maecenas, who presented him with the Sabine "farm,^' which be- 
came the poet's beloved retreat. It was a modest estate, sup- 
porting six families of tenants and situated in the beautiful Sabine 
Hills, about a day's journey from Rome. A few years later, in 
about 30 B.C., Horace published his seventeen Epodes — ^the cream 
of ten years of experimental and intermittent work in this field — 
together with a second book of Satires. 

He now definitely concentrated on the greater task of trans- 
planting the classic Greek lyric to Roman soil, spending the 
remainder of his life in quiet fulfillment of his literary ambitions. 
In 23 B.C. he published three books of lyric Odes; and in 20 B.C., 
returning to familiar verse, his first book of poetic Epistles, which 
were satires under a different name. In 17 B.C. he composed the 

50 National or Classical Roman Literature 

Carmen Saeculare, or Anniversary Ode — his appointment to this 
honor by Augustus marking him "poet laureate" of Rome. A 
fourth book of Odes appeared in 13 B.C., and at about the same 
time a second book of poetic EpistleSj discussing problems of 
Uterary criticism. Horace died on November 27, 8 B.C., sur- 
viving Maecenas by only a few months. 

Horace's temperament was not typically poetic. Aside from a 
jovial personality, which made him the boon companion of 
Maecenas and Augustus, his charm lay in that genial worldly 
philosophy to which he gave poetic expression by the deliberate 
mastery of literary craftsmanship. His skill has been well 
characterized by the novelist Petronius in the terse phrase curiosa 
felicitas — i.e., careful (or studied) felicity of expression. Horace 

r\\-^ never rhapsodized; he owed his success to long and arduous train- 

K. ^ iiig and study, sajdng rightly of himself that he did not soar like 

,,^\--i ^.\V the eagle, but wrought patiently like the bee. 

-^ ,.A '' ^ ^^ --^ I , . -^ ^ - - 



Country Joys 

\Beatus Ille is the best known of Horace's Epodes and presents 
an interesting contrast to Vergil's Eclogues. It is both lyric and 
satiric, expressing eloquently the joys of country life and then 
closing on an unexpected note of irony: Those who enthuse the mostj 
know the least about it!] 

1 Beatus ille, qui prociil negotils, 

2 ut prfsca gens mortdliiim, 

3 paterna rura bobus exercet suis, 

4 solutus omni f aenore, 

5 neque excitatur classico miles truci, 

6 neque horret iratum mare, 

7 forumque vitat et superba civium 

8 potentiorum limina. 

Fourth Period 51 

9 Ergo aut adulta vitium propagine 

10 altas maritat populos, 

11 aut in reducta valle mugientium 

12 prospectat errantis greges, 

13 inutilisque falce ramos amputans 

14 feliciores inserit, 

15 aut pressa puris mella condit amphoris, 

16 aut tondet infirmas ovis. 

17 Vel cum decorum mitibus pomis caput 

18 Autumnus agris extulit, 

19 ut gaudet insitiva decerpens pira 

20 certantem et uvam purpurae! ' K^ 

21 qua muneretur te, Priape, et te, pater ^ v v^ ^\-^'' 

22 Silvane, tutor finium. "^^ 

23 Libet iacere modo sub antiqua ilice, 

24 modo in tenaci gramine: 

25 labuntur altis interim ripis aquae; 

26 queruntur in silvis aves, 

27 frondesque lymphis obstrepunt manantibus 

28 somnos quod invitet levis. 

29 At cum tonantis annus hibernus lovis 

30 imbris nivisque comparat, 

31 aut trudit acris hinc et hinc multa cane 

32 apros in obstantis plagas, 

33 aut amite levi rara tendit retia 

34 turdis edacibus dolos, 

35 pavidumque leporem et advenam laqueo gruem 

36 iucunda captat praemia. 

37 Quis non malarum quas amor curas habet 

38 haec inter obliviscitur ? 

39 Quodsi pudica mulier in partem iuvet 

40 domum atque dulcis liberos 

41 (Sabina qualis aut perusta solibus 

42 pernicis uxor Apuli), 

43 sacrum vetustis exstruat lignis focum 

44 lassi sub adventum viri, 

45 claudensque textis" cratibus laetum pecus 

U.< - ^^v , -^^ 

52 National or Classical Roman Literature 

46 distenta siccet ubera, ^ 

47 et hbrna dulci vina promens dolio , ^ > \ ^ ^ 

48 dapes inemp^tas apparet : 

49 non me Lucrina iuverint conchylia ^^-^ 
60 magisve rhombus aut scari " 
51 (siquos Eois intonata fluctibus 

62 hiems ad hoc vertat mare), 

63 non Afra avis descendat in ventrem meum, 

64 non attagen lonicus, 

65 iucundior quam lecta de pinguissimis 

56 oliva ramis arborum, 

57 aut herba lapathi prat a amantis, et gravi 

58 malvae salubres corpori, 

59 vel agna festis caesa Terminalibus, 

60 vel haedus ereptus lupo. 

61 Has inter epulas ut iuvat pastas ovis 

62 videre properantis domum, 

63 videre fessos vomerem inversum boves 

64 coUo trahentis languid©, 

65 positosque vernas (ditis examen domus) ^ 

66 circum renidentis Laris. r 

67 Haec ubi locutus faenerator Alfius, 

68 iam iam futurus rusticus, \^s 

69 omnem redegit idibus pecuniam, 

70 quaerit kalendis ponere. 

To His Countkymen 

1 Quo, quo scelesti ruitis ? Aut cur dexterfs 

2 aptantur enses conditl ? 

3 Parumne campis atque Neptuno super 

4 fusum est Latini sanguinis — 

5 non ut superbas invidae Karthaginis 

6 Romanus arces ureret, 

7 intactus aut Britannus ut descenderet 

8 Sacra catenatus Via, 

9 sed ut (secundum vota Parthorum) sua 





Fourth Period 63 

10 urbs haec periret dexter a? 

11 Neque hie lupis mos neque fuit leonibds, 

12 numquam nisi in dispar feris. 

13 Furorne caecus an rapit vis acrior 

14 an culpa? Responsum date! 

15 Tacent et albus or a pallor inficit 

16 mentesque perculsae stupent. 

17 Sic est: acerba fata Romanos agunt 

18 scelusque fraternae necis, 

19 ut immerentis fluxit in terrain Remi 

20 sacer nepotibus cruor. 


To Neaera 

[This is one of the few poems treating of an actual love affair 
of Horace^s, after the fashion of Catullus. Note that he men- 
tions himself by name (1. 12). Whoever she may have been, 
Neaera was Horace's "Lesbia"; but her infidelity affected him 
far less deeply than Lesbia's did Catullus.] ^. 

1 Nox erat et caelo fulgebat luna sereno -^ ^'"^ uv^^ ^^ 

2 inter minora sidera, 

3 cum tu, magnorum numen laesura deorum, 

4 in verba iurabas mea 

5 (artius atque hedera procera adstringitur ilex 

6 lentis adhaerens bracchiis), 

7 dum pecori lupus, et nautis infestus Orion 

8 turbaret hibernum mare, 

9 intonsosque agitaret Apollinis aura capillos, 

10 fore hunc amorem mutuum — 

11 o dolitura mea multum virtute, Neaera. 

12 Nam si quid in Flacco viri est, 

13 non feret assiduas potiori te dare noctes, 

14 et quaeret iratus parem, 

15 nee semel offensi cedet constantia formae, 

16 si certus intrarit dolor. 

17 Et tu quicumque es felicior atque meo nunc 

54 National or Classical Roman Literature 

18 superbus incedis malo 

19 (sis pecore et multa dives tellure licebit 

20 tibique Pactolus fluat 

21 nee te Pythagorae fallant arcana renati 

22 formaque vincas Nirea) 

23 heu heu translates alio maerebis amores, 

24 ast ego vicissim risero ! 



The technical terminology of literary form is almost wholly 
Greek — witness: epic, elegy ^ lyric, drama, tragedy, comedy, history, 
and so forth. But there is one term that is purely Latin — 
namely, satire; and the Romans prided themselves on being the 
originators of this type of literature. Like many other literary 
terms, its usage has been long and varied. Originally the Latin 
word satira meant medley, and was first applied in literature — 
before the period of Greek influence — ^to a rude type of native 
comedy; all vestiges of this early improvised drama have disap- 
peared. Later Ennius apparently used the term to designate 
miscellaneous essays in prose and verse; these too have almost 
wholly perished. However, the most important step in establish- 
ing the classic conception of satire was taken by C. Lucilius, 
contemporary of Terence, member of the Scipionic Circle, and 
voluminous writer of familiar essays in verse — surviving today 
only in fragments. Lucilius displayed that urbane and frankly 
critical temper toward the turmoil of Uf e, which was the essence of 
Roman satire. He called his work Ludics et Sermones, but it 
came to be known as Satirae. For all his originality of wit and 
individuality of character, Horace in a way merely rewrote many 
of the Sermones of Lucilius — though in a style far more com- 
pressed and polished, and exclusively in the colloquial hexameter 
of which he was master. The Augustan age stressed perfection 
of form, and consequently demanded above all else the finish that 
Lucilius lacked. 

Fourth Period 55 

In appraising Roman satire, we must further remember that 
the use of this term has been greatly extended in modern times. 
In extant Roman hterature — as bequeathed to the Middle Ages — 
satire was represented by Horace, Persius, and Juvenal, and 
consisted of brief essays in familiar verse (of the type best 
represented in English literature by Pope and Dr. Johnson). In 
modern times, however, satire denotes an attitude of mind — not 
a specific literary form. Human society may be held up to ridi- 
cule through the medium of any literary form — not to mention 
other arts, such as the drawings of Hogarth and all the cartoonists. 
The most common Uterary forms to convey satire today are 
comedy and the novel — witness Thackeray and Shaw. Horace 
himself was perfectly aware of this broader satiric spirit — which 
the Romans did not originate — and claimed that he found his own 
inspiration in Greek literature, specifically the Athenian comedies 
of Aristophanes.^ In its broader sense, satire is more prevalent 
in Latin than in Greek literature, for the Latins were naturally 
gifted with urbane irony — a trait that accorded with their prac- 
tical character. Thus there is powerful satire in passages of 
Lucretius^ De Rerum Natura and Vergil's Georgics, in the epi- 
grams of Catullus and Martial, and in the great novel of Petronius 
(written in the reign of Nero). Usually, however, the term 
Roman satire denotes that type of familiar verse which Horace 
entitled Sermones, or Talks. 

The Sermones of Horace — as well as the Epistles, of which we 
shall speak later — were distinguished by their intimacy and revela- 
tion of the author's personality. For Horace himself is the one 
element in his satires that is always interesting, and Augustus 
and Maecenas have testified that his was a fascinating personality 
and he a rare companion. The Talks are confidential, permit- 
ting the reader to share Horace's innermost thoughts and ideals. 
Some are witty anecdotes or amusing experiences; others mono- 
logues or sermons, imaginary or fantastic conversations, or 
dialogues in which Horace takes part. But the vein of urbanity, 
humor, parody, and mellow cyncism — in short, the wit — that 
always appeals in Horace, runs through them all. 

1 See the introduction to Vol. I, p. 16. 


66 National or Classical Roman Literature 

The Bore 

[How a certain social climber — a thick-skinned, self-assertive 
fellow — attached himself to Horace on one of the latter's rambles 
about town, and nearly plagued him to death.] 

1 Ibam forte Via Sacra (sicut mens est mos), 

2 nescioquid meditans nugarum — ^totus in illis! 

3 Accurrit quidam notus mihi nomine tantum, 

4 arreptaque manu: *^quid agis, dulcissime rerum?" 

5 "^Suaviter, ut nunc est'* inquam "et cupio omnia quae vis." 

6 Cum adsectaretur, ''numquid vis?" occupo. At ille 

7 "noris nos!" inquit, ^'docti sumus." Htc ego "pluris 

8 hoc" inquam ''mihi eris." Misere discedere quaerens, 

9 ire modo ocius; interdum consistere; in aurem 

10 dicere nescioquid puero, cum sudor ad imos 

11 manaret talos. "O te, Bolane, cerebri 

12 felicem!" aiebam tacitus, cum quidlibet ille 

13 garriret — vicos, Urbem laudaret. Ut illi 

14 nil respondebam, ''misere cupis" inquit "abire; 

15 iamdudum video; sed nil agis; usque tenebo; 

16 persequar hinc quo nunc iter est tibi." "Nil opus est te 

17 circumagi: quendam volo visere non tibi notum — 

18 trans Tiberim longe — cubat is — prope Caesaris hortos." 

19 "Nil habeo quod agam et non sum piger: usque sequar te." 

20 Demitto auriculas, ut iniquae mentis asellus, 

21 cum gravius dorso subiit onus. Incipit ille: 

/ 22 " Si bene me novi, non Viscum pluris amicum, 

23 non Varium facies. Nam quis me scribere plures 

24 aut citius possit versus ? Quis membra movere 

25 moUius? Invideat quod et Hermogenes, ego canto." 

26 Inter pellandi locus hie erat: "est tibi mater, 

27 cognati, quis te salvo est opus?" "Hand mihi quisquam: 

28 omnTs composui." "Felices! Nunc ego resto. 

29 Confice. Namque instat fatum mihi triste, Sabella 

30 quod puero cecinit divina mot a anus urna: 


Fourth Period 67 

31 *hunc neque dira venena nee hosticus auferet ensis 

32 nee laterum dolor aut tussis nee tarda podagra; 

33 garrulus hune quando eonsumet eumque; loquacis, 

34 si sapiat, vitet, simul atque adoleverit aetas. ' '* 

35 Ventum erat ad Vestae, quart a iam parte diei 

36 praeterita, et easu turn respondere vadato 

37 debebat; quod ni feeisset, perdere litem. 

38 "Si me amas" inquit "paulum hie ades." "Inteream, si 

39 aut valeo stare aut novi eivilia iura — 

40 et propero quo seis ! " " Dubius sum quid faciam " inquit — 

41 "tene relinquam an rem/* "Me, sodes/' "Non f-^eiam'' 


42 et praecedere eoepit. Ego, ut contendere durum est 

43 cum vietore, sequor. " Maecenas quomodo tecum ? " 

44 hinc repetit. ' ' Paucorum hominum et mentis bene sanae ! '' 

45 "Nemo dexterius fortuna est usus. Haberes 

46 magnum adiutorem, posset qui ferre seeundas, 

47 hune hominem velles si tradere. Dispeream, ni 

48 summosses omnis." "Non isto vivimus illic 

49 quo tu rere modo. Domus hac nee purior ulla est 

50 nee magis his aliena malis. Nil mi officit" inquam ., 

51 "ditior hie aut est quia doctior. Est locus uni ^ ^^^ 

52 cuique suus/' " Magnum narras — vix eredibile ! " "Atqui 

53 sic habet." "Aeeendis quare cupiam magis illi 

54 proximus esse." "Velis tantummodo: quae tua virtus, 

55 expugnabis. Et est qui vinei possit, eoque 

56 diffieilis aditus primos habet." "Haud mihi dero. ^t'-T 

57 Muneribus servos corrumpam. Non, hodie si 

58 exelusus fuero, desistam. Tempora quaeram. ^ 

59 Oecurram in triviis. Dedueam. Nil sine magno 

60 vita labore dedit mortalibus." 

Haec dum agit, ecce 

61 Fuseus Aristius occurrit, mihi earns — et ilium 

62 qui pulehre nosset! Consistimus. "Unde venis" et 

63 "quo tendis" rogat et respondet. Vellere coepi 

58 National or Classical Roman Literature 

64 et pressare manu lentissima bracchia, nutans, 

65 distorquens oculos, ut me eriperet. Male salsus 

66 ridens dissimulare : meum iecur urere bills. 

67 ^'Certe nescioquid secreto velle loqui te 

68 aiebas mecum." "Memini bene, sed meliore 

69 tempore dicam — hodie tricesima sabbata — ^vin tu 

70 Curtis ludaeis oppedere?" ''Nulla mihi" inquam 

71 religio est." "At mi: sum paulo infirmior — unus 

72 multorum. Ignosces. Alias loquor." Huncine solem 

73 tam nigrum surrexe mihi! Fugit improbus ac me 

74 sub cultro linquit. 

Casu venit obvius illi 

75 adversarius, et "quo tu, turpissime?" magna 

76 inclamat voce, et "licet antestari?" Ego vero 

77 oppono auriculam. Rapit in ius — clamor utrimque — 

78 undique concursus! Sic me servavit Apollo. 


An Apology for Writing Satire 

[Trained by his father to be an observer of men, Horace 
naturally devoted his life to the observation of human nature. 
His father's principle of education was that object lessons were 
worth more than theoretical preaching.] 

1 Liberius si 

2 dixero quid, si forte iocosius, hoc mihi iuris 

3 cum venia dabis: insuevit pater optimus hoc me, 

4 (ut fugerem) exempUs vitiorum quaeque notando. 

5 Cum me hortaretur, parce frugaliter atque 

6 viverem uti contentus eo quod mi ipse parasset: 

7 "nonne vides, Albi ut male vivat filius utque 

8 Baius inops? — magnum documentum, ne patriam rem 

9 perdere quis velit." A turpi meretricis amore 

10 cum deterreret: "Scetani dissimilis sis." 

1 1 Ne sequerer moechas, concessa cum venere uti 

12 possem: "deprensi non bella est fama Treboni" 

Fourth Period 59 

13 aiebat. "Sapiens, vitatu quidque petitu 

14 sit melius, causas reddet tibi; mi satis est, si 

15 traditum ab antiquis morem servare, tuamque 

16 dum custodis eges, vitam famamque tueri 

17 incolumem possum; simul ac duraverit aetas 

18 membra animumque tuum, nabis sine cortice." Sic me 

19 formabat puerum dictis, et, sive iubebat 

20 ut facerem quid, ''habes auctorem, quo facias hoc" 

21 (unum ex iudicibus selectis obiciebat); 

22 sive vetabat, ^'an hoc inhonestum et inutile factu 

23 necne sit addubites, flagret rumore malo cum 

24 hie atque ille?'' Avidos vicinum funus ut aegros 

25 exanimat mortisque metu sibi parcere cogit, 

26 sic teneros animos aliena opprobria saepe 

27 absterrent vitiis. Ex hoc ego (sanus ab illis, 

28 perniciem quaecumque ferunt) mediocribus et quis 

29 ignoscas vitiis teneor. Fortassis et istinc 

30 largiter abstulerit longa aetas, liber amicus, 

31 consilium proprium; neque enim, cum lectulus aut me 

32 porticus excepit, desum mihi. "Rectius hoc est — 

33 hoc faciens vivam melius — sic dulcis amicis 

34 occurram — hoc quidam non belle; numquid ego illi 

35 imprudens olim faciam simile ? " Haec ego mecum 

36 compressis agito labris; ubi quid datur oti, 

37 illudo chartis. Hoc est mediocribus illis 

38 ex vitiis unum; cui si concedere nolis, 

39 mult a poetarum veniat manus, auxilio quae 

40 sit mihi (nam multo plures sumus), ac veluti te 

41 ludaei cogemus in hanc concedere turbam. 

^^ The Sabine Farm 

1 Hoc erat in votis : modus agri non ita magnus, 

2 hortus ubi et tecto vicinus iiigis aquae fons 

3 et paulum silvae super his foret. Auctius atque 

4 di melius fecere. Bene est. Nil amplius oro, 

6 Maia nate, nisi ut propria haec mihi munera faxis. 

60 National or Classical Roman Literature 

6 Si neque maiorem feci ratione mala rem, 

7 nee sum facturus vitio culpave minorem — 

8 (si veneror stultus nihil horum: "O si angulus ille 

9 proximus accedat, qui nunc denormat agellum; 

10 O si urnam argenti fors quae mihi monstret, ut illi, 

11 thesauro invento qui mercennarius agrum 

12 ilium ipsum mercatus aravit, dives amico 

13 Hercule"; si quod adest gratum iuvat) — ^hac prece te oro; 

14 pingue pecus domino facias et cetera (praeter 

15 ingenium), utque soles, custos mihi maximus adsis! 

16 Ergo ubi me in montis et in arcem ex urbe removi, 

17 quid prius illustrem saturis Musaque pedestri? 

18 Nee mala me ambitio perdit nee plumbeus Auster 

19 autumnusque gravis, Libitinae quaestus acerbae. 

20 Matutine pater (seu "lane" libentius audis), 

21 unde homines operum primos vitaeque labores 

22 instituunt (sic dis placitum), tu carminis esto 

23 principium. Romae sponsorem me rapis. " Heia, 

24 ne prior officio quisquam respondeat, urge!" 

25 Sive Aquilo radit terras seu bruma nivalem 

26 interiore diem gyro trahit, ire necesse est. 

27 Postmodo (quod mi obsit clare certumque locuto) 

28 luctandum in turba et facienda iniuria tardis. 

29 "Quid vis, insane, et quas res agis?" improbus urget 

30 iratis precibus; "tu pulses omne quod obstat, 

31 ad Maecenatem memori si mente recurras?" 

32 (Hoc iuvat et melli est, non mentiar.) At simul atras 

33 ventum est EsquiUas, aliena negotia centum 

34 per caput et circa saliunt latus. "Ante secundam 

35 Roscius orabat sibi adesses ad Puteal eras." 

36 "De re communi scribae magna at que nova te 

37 orabant hodie meminisses, Quinte, reverti." 

38 "Imprimat his cura Maecenas signa tabellis." 

39 Dixeris "experiar." "Si vis, potes" addit et instat. 

40 Septimus, octavo propior, iam fugerit annus. 

Fourth Period 61 

41 ex quo Maecenas me coepit habere suorum 

42 in numero; dumtaxat ad hoc, quem toUere raeda 

43 vellet iter faciens, et cui concredere nugas 

44 hoc genus: "hora quota est?" — ''Thraex est Gallina 

Syro par?" — 

45 ''matutina parum cautos iam frigora mordent" — 

46 et quae rimosa bene deponuntur in aure. 

47 Per totum hoc tempus subiectior in diem et horam 

48 invidiae noster. Ludos spectaverat una; 

49 luserat in Campo: "fortunae fiUus!" omnes. 

50 Frigidus a Rostris manat per compita rumor: 

51 quicumque obvius est, me consuUt: "0 bone (nam te 

52 scire, deos quoniam propius contingis, oportet), 

53 numquid de Dacis audisti?" ''Nil equidem." "Ut tu 

54 semper eris derisor!" "At omnes di exagitent me, 

55 si quicquam." ''Quid, miUtibus promissa Triquetra 

56 praedia Caesar, an est Itala tellure daturus?" 

57 lurantem me scire nihil, mirantur, ut unum 

58 scilicet egregii mortalem altique silenti. 

59 Perditur haec inter misero lux non sine votis: 

60 O rus, quando ego te aspiciam ? quandoque licebit 

61 nunc veterum libris, nunc somno et inertibus horis 

62 ducere soUicitae iucunda oblivia vitae ? 

63 O quando faba (Pythagorae cognata) simulque 

64 uncta satis pingui ponentur holuscula lardo ? 

65 O noctes cenaeque deum ! quibus ipse meique 

66 ante larem proprium vescor vernasque procacis 

67 pasco libatis dapibus. Prout cuique libido est, ^' 

68 siccat inaequalis calices conviva, solutus ^^^ ^"^ 

69 legibus insanis, seu quis capit acria fortis " ^ ^ 

70 pocula, seu modicis uvescit laetius. Ergo ^^-' 

71 sermo oritur, non de viUis domibusve aUenis, >^ ^'*^ 

72 nee male necne Lepos saltet; sed quod magis ad nos ^.K^ 

73 pertinet et nescire malum est, agitamus: utrumne 

74 divitiis homines an sint virtute beati; 

75 quidve ad amicitias, usus rectumne, trahat nos; 


V r 

62 National or Classical Roman Literature 

76 et quae sit natura boni, summumque quid eius. 

77 Cervius haec inter vicinus garrit anilis 

78 ex re fabellas. Si quis nam laudat Arelli 

79 sollicitas ignarus opes, sic incipit: ^'Olim 

80 rusticus urbanum murem mus paupere fertur 

81 accepisse cavo, veterem vetus hospes amicum, 

82 asper et attentus quaesitis, ut tamen artum 

83 solveret hospitiis animum. Quid multa ? neque ille 

84 sepositi ciceris nee longae invidit avenae, 

85 aridum et ore ferens acinum semesaque lardi 

86 frusta dedit, cupiens varia fastidia cena 

87 vincere tangentis male singula dente superbo; 

88 cum pater ipse domus palea porrectus in horna 

89 esset ador loliumque, dapis meliora relinquens. 

90 Tandem urbanus ad hunc *Quid te iuvat/ inquit 'amice, 

91 praerupti nemoris patientem vivere dorso? 

92 Vis tu homines urbemque f eris praeponere silvis ? 

93 Carpe viam, mihi crede, comes, terrestria quando 

94 mortalis animas vivunt sortita, neque ulla est 

95 aut magno aut parvo leti fuga: quo, bone, circa, 

96 dum licet, in rebus iucundis vive beatus, 

97 vive memor quam sis aevi brevis/ Haec ubi dicta 

98 agrestem pepulere, domo levis exsilit; inde 

99 ambo propositum peragunt iter, urbis aventes 

100 moenia nocturni subrepere. lamque tenebat 

101 nox medium caeli spatium, cum ponit uterque 

102 in locuplete domo vestigia, rubro ubi cocco 

103 tincta super lectos canderet vestis eburnos, 

104 multaque de magna superessent fercula cena, 

105 quae procul exstructis inerant hesterna canistris. 

106 Ergo, ubi purpurea porrectum in veste locavit 

107 agrestem, veluti succinctus cursitat hospes 

108 continuatque dapes, nee non verniliter ipsis 

109 fungitur officiis, praelambens omne quod affert. 

110 Ille Cubans gaudet mutata sorte, bonisque 

111 rebus agit laetum convivam, cum subito ingens 

Fourth Period 63 

112 val varum strepitus lectis excussit utrumque. 

113 Currere per totum pavidi conclave, magisque 

114 examines trepidare, simul domus alta Molossis 

115 personuit canibus. Tum rusticus 'haud mihi vita 

116 est opus hac/ ait *et valeas; me silva cavusque 

117 tutus ab insidiis tenui solabitur ervo.'" 

On Toadying as a Fine Art 
[Horace here ridicules the vices of Roman society by giving 
mock-serious advice ^ — not in the first person, but through legend- 
ary and heroic characters. In the eleventh book of the Odyssey ^ 
Odysseus visits the realm of the dead and converses with many 
of the departed — among them the seer Tiresias, who reveals to 
Odysseus his future and gives him sage advice. Horace purports 
to continue the conversation between Odysseus and Tiresias — i.e., 
to parody Homer, representing Odysseus as an " ad venturer " in the 
modern sense. In Homer's Odyssey (XI, 119), Tiresias speaks to 
Odysseus in solemn prophecy: But when thou hast slain the wooers 
in thy halls, thereafter go thy way, taking with thee an oar, till thou 
shalt come to such men as know not the sea, neither eat meat savored 
with salt; nor have they knowledge of ships nor oars. And I will 
give thee a most manifest token, which cannot escape thee. In the 
day when another wayfarer shall meet thee and say that thou hast a 
winnowing fan on thy shoulder, even then make fast thy oar in 
the earth and do goodly sacrifice to Poseidon. And from the sea 
shall thine own death come, the gentlest death that may he; and the 
folk shall dwell happily around thee. This that I say is sooth.^ At 
this point Horace's supposed addition begins — Ulysses answers: 
Tell me this further, Tiresias: hy what arts and means can I repair 
my worldly fortunes . . . f] 

1 Ul. Hoc quoque, Tiresia, praeter narrata petenti 

2 responde, quibus amissas reparare queam res 

3 artibus atque modis. Quid rides? Ti. lamne doloso 

4 non satis est Ithacam revehi patriosque penatis 

1 Cf. De Quincey, On Murder as a Fine Art. 

2 From Butcher and Lang's translation, published by Macmillan. 

64 National or Classical Roman Literature 

5 aspicere? Ul. O nuUi quicquam mentite, vides ut 

6 nudus inopsque domum redeam, te vate; neque ilHc 

7 aut apotheca procis intacta est aut pecus; atqui 

8 et genus et virtus, nisi cum re, vilior alga est. 

9 Ti. Quando pauperiem, missis ambagibus, horres, 

10 accipe qua ratione queas ditescere, Turdus 

1 1 sive aliud privum dabitur tibi, devolet illtic 

12 res ubi magna nitet domino sene; dulcia poma 

13 et quoscumque feret cultus tibi fundus honores, 

14 ante larem gustet venerabilior lare dives; > 

15 qui quamvis periurus erit, sine gente, cruentus 

16 sanguine fraterno, fugitivus, ne tamen illi 
^ 17 tu comes exterior, si postulet, ire recuses. 

^ 18 Ul. Utne tegam spurco Damae latus ? Haud ita Troiae 

^~.-^yi " 19 me gessi, certans semper melioribus. Ti. Ergo 

v,,:^ .. 20 pauper eris. Ul. Fortem hoc animum tolerare iubebo; 

"*1, <:^' 21 et quondam maior a tuli. Tu protinus, unde ^ ^ 

%> <^ 22 divitias aerisque ruam die, augur, acervos. 

c^"'^ 23 Ti. Dixi equidem et dico : captes astutus ubique 

^ 24 testamenta senum, neu, si vafer unus et alter .^^-^ 

"^^ 25 insidiatorem praeroso f ugerit hamo, ■ j • '^ ^ i ' ^ 

v^ "^^ 26 aut spem deponas aut artem illusus omittas. 

27 Magna minor ve foro si res certabitur olim, 

28 vivet uter locuples sine gnatis, improbus, ultro 

29 qui meliorem audax vocet in ius, illius esto 

30 defensor; fama civem causaque priorem 

3 1 sperne, domi si gnatus erit fecundave coniunx. 

32 ''Quinte," put a, aut "Publi" (gaudent praenomine molles 

33 auriculae) "tibi me virtus tua fecit amicum; 

34 ius anceps novi, causas defendere possum; 

35 eripiet qui vis oculos citius mihi, quam te 

36 contemptum cassa nuce pauperet; haec mea cura est, 

37 ne quid tu perdas, neu sis iocus." Ire domum at que 

38 pelliculam curare iube; fi cognitor ipse. 

39 Persta at que obdura, seu rubra Canicula findet ^ 

40 infantis statuas, seu pingui tentus omaso ; 

Fourth Period 65 

41 Furius hibernas carta nive conspuet Alpis, 

42 ^'Nonne vides/' aliquis cubito stantem prope tangens 

43 inquit, "ut patiens! ut amicis aptus! ut acer!'' ; 

44 Plures adnabunt thynni et cetaria crescent. j 

45 Si cui praeterea validus male filius in re 

46 praeclara sublatus aletur, ne manifestum \ 

47 caelibis obsequium nudet te, leniter in spem \ 

48 adrepe officiosus, ut et scribare secundus j 

49 heres, et, si quis casus puerum egerit Oreo, » \^\ 3 

50 in vacuum venias: perraro haec alea fallit. \^ ' j 

51 Qui testamentum tradet tibi cumque legendum, ! 

52 abnuere et tabulas a te removere memento, ^J^j kw j'j^ji ! 

53 sic tamen, ut limis rapias, quid prima secundo i ,^ , v ^ — ^ 1 

54 cera velit versu; solus multisne coheres, 

55 veloci percurre oculo. Plerumque recoctus i 

56 scriba ex quinqueviro corvum deludet hiantem, ; 

57 captatorque dabit risus Nasica Corano. 

58 Ul. Num furis ? an prudens ludis me obscura canendo ? 

59 Ti. O Laertiade, quicquid dicam aut erit aut non: j 

60 divinare etenim magnus mihi donat Apollo. 

61 Ul. Quid tamen ista velit sibi fabula, si licet, ede. 

62 Ti. Tempore quo iuvenis Parthis horrendus, ab alto i 

63 demissum genus Aenea, tellure marique ^^, | 

64 magnus erit, forti nubet procera Corano '^^ ^s j 

65 filia Nasicae, metuentis reddere soldum. i 

66 Tum gener hoc f aciet : tabulas socero dabit atque > 

67 ut legat orabit; multum Nasica negatas I 

68 accipiet tandem et tacitus leget, invenietque 

69 nil sibi legatum praeter plorare suisque. | 

70 lUud ad haec iubeo : mulier si forte dolosa | 

71 libertusve senem delirum temperet, illis ^^ T' j 

72 accedas socius; laudes, lauderis ut absens; j ^ , ^ 

73 adiuvat hoc quoque, sed vincit longe prius ipsum ^ -t^ >,? , 

74 expugnare caput. Scribet mala carmina vecors: ' y I 

75 laudato. Scortator erit; cave te roget; ultro /' ,"^ \ 

66 National or Classical Roman Literature 

76 Penelopam facilis potior! trade. Ul. Putasne, 

77 perduci poterit tarn frugi tamque pudica, 

78 quam nequiere proci recto depellere cursu? 

79 Ti. Venit enim magnum donandi parca iuventus 

80 nee tantum Veneris, quantum studiosa culinae. 

81 Sic tibi Penelope frugi est, quae si semel uno 

82 de sene gustarit tecum partita lucellum, 

83 ut canis a corio numquam absterrebitur uncto. 

84 Me sene quod dicam factum est : anus improba Thebis 

85 ex testamento sic est elata: cadaver 

86 unctum oleo largo nudis umeris tulit heres, 

87 scilicet elabi si posset mortua; credo, 

88 quod nimium instiferat viventi. Cautus adito, 

89 neu desis operae, neve immoderatus abundes. 

90 Difficilem et morosum offendet garrulus; ultra 

91 ''non" ''etiam" sileas; Davus sis comicus, at que 

92 stes capite obstipo, multum similis metuenti. ^^ h '^ ^- i 

93 Obsequio grassare; mone, si increbruit aura, 

94 cautus uti velet carum caput ; extrahe turba 

95 oppositis umeris; aurem siibstringe loquaci. 

96 Importunus amat laudari; donee ^'ohe iam!^' 

97 ad caelum manibus sublatis dixerit, urge, 

98 cresWtem tumidis infla sermonibus utrem. 

99 Cum te servitio longo curaque levarit, 

100 et certum vigilans, Quartae sit partis Ulixes, 

101 audieris, heres: "ergo nunc Dama sodalis 

102 nusquam est? — unde mihi tam fortem tamque fidelem?" 

103 sparge subinde, et, si paulum potes, illacrimare: est 

104 gaudia prodentem voltum celare. Sepulchrum 

105 permissum arbitrio sine sordibus exstrue; funus 

106 egregie factum laudet vicinia. Si quis 

107 forte coheredum senior male tussiet, huic tu 

108 die, ex parte tua seu fundi sive domus sit 

109 emptor, gaudentem nummo te addicere. — Sed me 

110 imperiosa trahit Proserpina: vive valeque! 

Fourth Period 67 


In 23 B.C. Horace published three books of Odes, or Carmina — 
i.e., lyrics. These eighty-eight short poems were the fruit of 
seven or eight years of intensive work — the average annual output 
being about twelve. This does not mean that he regularly 
turned out one ode each month, but it does at least indicate with 
what painstaking care Horace labored. He must have written 
^nd rewritten, polished and repolished. 

Having published his three books of odes, Horace felt that he 
had accomplished his purpose and would write no more Ij^ics; but 
unwittingly he had made himself ''poet laureate " — so to speak — , 
and continued to receive requests for odes from Augustus and 
other patrons. Consequently, in 17 B.C., he accepted the task of 
writing the Carmen Saeculare, or national Centennial Ode; and 
three years later, published a fourth book of fifteen miscellaneous 

The Carmina are short poems, composed in the complex and 
difficult Greek lyric meters — most of which had never been 
successfully reproduced in Latin literature before. Few, if any, 
of Horace's poems are lyrical in the modern sense — Catullus 
being the Roman poet who most nearly approached the modern 
ideal of lyric expression. For the most part the odes embody 
Horace^s philosophy of life, recording moods rather than emotions. 
They are objective, ironical, urbane, and mellow; and develop ^^. 
themes that are partly traditional — ^the gods, love, friendship,'^ ^v.A^ 
and wine — , partly devoted to the favorite articles of Horace's 
creed — the simple life, contentment, and rustic joys — , and partly 
in eulogy of the ideals of Roman character. ,\ s- '^^^ 

These odes contain no startlingly new or original thought. 
On the contrary, their fame is due to the exquisite perfec- 
tion with which they present commonplace ideas and universal 
sentiments. Classics from the day of their publication, they have 
never ceased to be conservative standards of form and expression. 

68 National or Classical Roman Literature 


Easy passages have been selected at random from the Odes to 
acquaint students with Horace's style and meters. His most 
familiar verse forms are the Alcaic; the Sapphic; and the "first," 
"second," "third," "fourth," and "fifth" Asclepiadeans. 

[a] Alcaic 

The Alcaic strophe, or stanza, was Horace's favorite lyric 
meter. Its metrical scheme is as follows; ^ 

X ^w ^_ ^wv ^w X 

X ^w ^_ :lww ^v X 

X ^w ^_ ^w ^X 

Jlww ^ww ^w ^X 

[i] The Poet's Prayer 

[Written on the dedication of a temple to Actian Apollo, in 
28 B.C.] 

1 Quid dedicatum poscit Apollinem 

2 vates? Quid orat de patera novum 

3 fundens liquorem ? Non opimae 

4 Sardiniae segetes feracis, 

5 non aestuosae grata Calabriae 

6 armenta, non aurum aut ebur Indicum, 

7 non rura quae Liris quieta 

8 mordet aqua taciturnus amnis. / 

•,-■-' / 

9 Premant Calena falce, quibus dedit 

10 Fortuna, vitem; dives et aureis 

1 Remember that the symbol x is used for syllables which may be either long 
or short without affecting the theoretical correctness of the meter. Such are 
always the final syllable of every line and — ^in the Alcaic stanza — certain 
initial syllables, preceding the main pattern of the melody, like grace notes. 

Fourth Period > V. 69 

11 mercator exsiccet culillis^ 

12 vina Syr a reparata merce, 

13 dis carus ipsis, quippe ter et quater 

14 anno revisens aequor Atlanticum 

15 impune: me pascunt olivae, >^ 

16 me cichorea levesque malvae. 



17 Frui paratis et valido mihi, 

18 Latoe, dones et, precor, Integra 

19 cum mente, nee turpem senectam 

20 degere nee cithara carentem. 

\ii\ A Eulogy of M, Lollius 

1 Vixere fofies ante Agamemnona 

2 multi; sed omnes illacrimabiles 

3 iirgentur ignotique longa 

4 nocte, carent quia vate sacro. 

5 Paulum sepultae distat inertiae 

6 ceiata virtus. Non ego te meis 

7 chartis inornatum sileri, 

8 totve tuos patiar labores 

9 impune, LoUi, carpere lividas 

10 obliviones. Est animus tibi 

11 rerumque prudens, et secundis 

12 temporibus dubiisque rectus, 

13 vindex avarae fraudis, et abstinens 

14 (ducentis ad se cuncta) pecuniae; 

15 consulque non unius anni, 

16 sed quotiens bonus atque fidus 

17 index honestum praetulit utili, 

18 reiecit alto dona nocentium .,v 

19 vultu, per obstantis catervas 

20 explicuit sua victor arma. 



70 National or Classical Roman Literature > 

21 Non possidentem multa vocaveris 

22 recte beatum; rectius occupat ' 

23 nomen beati, qui deorum 

24 muneribus sapienter uti, r^ '^ 

■ ■■' '■■ ^-''^ \ 

25 duramque callet pauperiem pati, j 

26 peiusque leto flagitium timet: ' 

27 non ille pro caris amicis ! 

28 aut patria timidus per ire! \ 

[in] To Maecenas ^ 

[7/ you die, I shall soon follow!] j 

1 Cur me querelis exanimas tuis? i 

2 Nee dis ami cum est — nee mihi — ^te prius 4 

3 obire, Maecenas, mearum 

4 grande decus columenque rerum. i 

5 Ah, te meae si partem animae rapit 

6 maturior vis, quid moror altera, | 

7 nee carus aeque nee superstes | 

8 integer ? Ille dies utramque i. 

9 ducet ruinam. Non ego perfidum ' 

10 dixi sacramentum: ibimus, ibimus, I 

11 utcumque praecedes, supremum 

12 carpere iter comites parati. i 

[iv] Jilted 

1 Vixi puellis nuper idoneus 

2 et militavi non sine gloria: 

3 nunc arma defunctumque bello 

4 barbiton hie paries habebit, 

5 laevum marinae qui Veneris latus 

6 custodit. Hie, htc ponite lucida 

7 funalia et vectis et arcus 

8 oppositis foribus minacis. ' 

Fourth Period 71 

9 O quae beatam diva tenes Cyprum et . ^ i^ 

10 Memphin carentem Sithonia nive, ' ' v ^ A 

11 regina, sublimi flagello 

12 tange Chloen semel arrogantem. 

[b] Sapphic 
Note the sHght difference between the metrical schemes of 
Catullus and Horace in the Sapphic strophe, or stanza: in Catullus, 
as in Sappho, the fourth syllable is variable — i.e., the second foot 
is ^x, not ^- : 


£.s, £.- ^ww ^w ^X 

^ww ^X 

(. [i] Simple Pleasures 

1 Persicos odi, puer, apparatus; 

2 displicent hexae philyra coronae; ^^^ '" 

3 mitte sectari, rosa quo locorum 

4 sera moretur. 

.-■ ^ 

5 Simplici myrto nihil adlabores 

6 sedulus, <curo; neque te ministrum 

7 dedecet myrtus neque me, sub arta 

8 vite bibentem. 

[ii] The Dedication of a Pine Tree to Diana 

1 Montium custos nemoruriique, Virgo, 

2 quae laborantls utero puellas ^^.^^ 

3 (ter vocata) audis adimisqUe leto, V^^ A ' "^ ^^^.^S 

4 Diva triformis; ^-^^ 

5 imminens villae tua pinus esto, 

6 quam per exactos ego laetus annos 

7 verris (obliquum meditantis ictum) ^ ^'^^ 

8 sanguine donem. 

72 National or Classical Roman Literature 

[m] A Lover's Prayer to Venus 

[A lover bids Venus heed the prayer of his sweetheart^ Glycera. 
(Note that the lover seconds Glycera's prayer, imploring Venus 
to come to her, not to him — ^though naturally he will be the 
gainer thereby!)] ^ 

1 O Venus, regina Cnidi Paphique, 

2 sperne dilectam Cypron, et (yocantis 

3 iure te multo) Glycerae decoram 

4 transfer in aedem. 

5 Fervidus tecum puer, et solutis 

6 Gratiae zonis, ^properentque Nymphae, 

7 et paruin c5mis sine te luventas, 

8 Mercuriusque. 

[iv] To A Faded Beauty 
[Serenaders no longer disturb your slumbers!] 

1 Parcius iunct as quatiunt fenestras ^'^^ 

2 iactibus crebris iuvenes protervi. 

3 nee tibi somnos adimunt, amatque 

4 ianua limen, 

5 quae prius multum facilis movebat 

6 cardines. Audis minus et minus iam : 

7 ''me tuo longas pereunte noctes, 

8 Lydia, dormis?" 

[v] The Poet Sings of Gods and Heroes 

1 Quid prius dicam solitis Parentis 

2 laudibus, qui res hominum ac deorum, 

3 qui mare ac terras variisque mundum 

4 temperat horis? 

5 unde nil mains generatur ipso, 

6 nee viget quicquam simile aut secundum. 

Fourth Period 73 

7 Proximos illi taihen occupavit 

8 Pallas honores, 

9 proeliis audax. Neque te silebo, 

10 Liber, et saevis inimica Virgo 

11 beluis; nee te, metuende certa 

12 Phoebe sagitt a. 

13 Dicam et Alciden, puerosque Ledae 

14 (hunc equis, ilium superare pugnis 

15 nobilem), quorum simul alba nautis 

16 Stella refulsit, 

17 defluit saxis agitatus umor; 

18 concidunt venti fugiuntque nubes 

19 et minax (quod sic voluere) ponto 

20 unda recumbit. 

[vi] In Praise of Hypermnestra 

1 Una de multis, face nuptiali ^' 

2 digna, periurum fuit in parentem 

3 splendide mendax, et in omne virgo 

4 nobilis aevum, 

5 ''surge" quae dixit iuveni marito, 

6 ''surge, ne longus tibi somnus, unde 

7 non times, detur. Socerum et scelestas 

8 falle sorores, 

9 quae, velut nactae vitulos leaenae, 

10 singulos eheu lacerant. Ego, illis 

1 1 mollior, nee te f eriam neque intra 

12 claustra tenebo. 

13 Me pater saevis oneret catenis, 

14 quod viro clemens misero peperci, 

15 me vel extremos Numidarum in agros 

16 classe releget : 


74 National or Classical Roman Literature 

17 i, pedes quo te rapiunt et aurae, ^, 

18 dum fa vet Nox et Venus; i secundo 

19 omine, et nostri memorem sepulchre 

20 scalpe querelam/' 

[vii] Farewell to a Former Sweetheart 
[Blessings on you, Galatea, even though you go to as strange a 
fate as Europa, when the bull carried her over the sea to far-off 

, ..^v^- ......... 

1 Sis licet felix, ubicumque mavis, 

2 et memor nostri, Galatea, vivas, 

3 teque nee laevu^ vetet ire piciis " "^ 

4 nee vaga cornix. 

5 Sic et Europe niveum doloso ^ '^^'^^^^ ' ^^ - 

6 credidit tauro latus, et scatentem ^^^* ^"' 

7 belu^ pontum mediasque fraudes 

8 palli^it audax. 


^. 9 Nuper in pratis studiosa florum et 

10 debitae Nymphis opifex coronae, 

11 nocte sublustri nihil astra praeter 

12 vidit et undas. 

( c - 

13 Quae simul centum tetigit potentem , 

14 oppidis Creten, "pater! — o relictum' 

15 filiae nomen pietasque" dixit 

16 "victa furore! p , \ 

17 Unde quo veni ? Levis una mors est 

18 virginum culpae. Vigilansne ploro 
(^ 19 turpe commissum an vitiis carentem 

20 ludit imago? 

21 Siquis infamem mihi nunc iuvencum 

22 dedat iratae, lacerare ferro et 

Fourth Period 75 

23 frangere enitar modo multum amati 

24 cornua monstri." 

[c] " First " Asclepiadean 
The metrical scheme for the "first" Asclepiadean — i.e., the 
lesser, or shorter, Asclepiadean line — is as follows : 


[The Poet gives eternal fame.] 

1 Donarem pateras grataque commodus, 

2 Censorine, meis aera sodalibus; 

3 donarem tripodas, praemia fortium 

4 Graiorum; neque tu pessima munerum 

5 ferres — -divite me scilicet artium, 

6 quas aut Parrhasius protulit aut Scopas 

7 (hie saxo, liquidis ille coloribus 

8 sollers nunc hominem ponere, nunc deum). 

9 Sed non haec mihi vis, non tibi talium 

10 ires est aut animus deliciarum egens: 

11 gaudes carminibus; carmina possumus 

12 donare et pretium dicere muneri. 

13 Non incisa notis marmora publicis 

14 (per quae spiritus et vita redit bonis 

15 post mortem ducibus) 

16 eius, qui domita nomen ab Africa 

17 lucratus rediit, clarius indicant 

18 laudes quam Calabrae Pierides; neque 

19 si chartae sileant quod bene feceris, 

20 mercedem tuleris. Quid foret Iliae 

21 Mavortisque puer, si tacitiirnitas 

22 obstaret meritis invida Romuli? 

23 Ereptum Stygiis fluctibus Aeacum 

24 virtus et favor et lingua potentium 

25 vatum divitibus consecrat msulis. 

26 Dignum laude virum Musa vet at mori. 

76 National or Classical Roman Literature 

[d] " Second " Asclepiadean 
The metrical scheme for the "second" Ascelpiadean — ^i.e., the 
Asclepiadean couplet — is as follows: 


[i] To Celebrate a Friend's Return 

1 Et ture et fidibus iuvat . ^ 

2 placare et vituli sanguine debito 

3 custodes Numidae deos, 

4 qui nunc Hesperia sospes ab ultima 

5 caris multa sodalibus, 

^ ^^ /"^ 6 nulli plura tamen dividit oscula -^ "^^' 

7 quam dulci Lamiae — memor 

8 actae non alio rege puertiae s - -^^^^ ''> 

9 mutataeque simul togae. ^^ _.0 ^"^ 

10 Cressa ne careat pulchra dies nota, 

1 1 neu promptae modus amphorae, 

12 neu morem in Salium sit requies pedum. 


[ii] Must I Fall in Love Again at Fifty? ^ 


1 Intermissa, Venus, diu i 

2 rursus bella moves? Parce, precor, precor. j 

3 Non sum qualis eram bonae j 

4 sub regno Cinarae. Desine, dulcium i 

5 mater saeva Cupidinum, i 

6 circa lustra decem flectere, mollibus 

7 iam durum imperils. Abi, ! 

8 quo blandae iuvenum te revocant preces. 

[e] " Third " Asclepiadean 

The metrical scheme for the "third" Asclepiadean — ^i.e., the 
simpler Asclepiadean stanza (aaab) — is as follows : 

Fourth Period 77 

^w X 

^w X 

[i] To Augustus 
[Horace hegs Augustus to hasten his return to Rome from Spain. 

1 Divis orte bonis, optime Romulae 

2 custos gentis, abes iam nimium diu. 

3 MaVurum reditum pollicitus patrum"' 

4 sancto concilio, redi! 

5 Lucem redde tuae, dux bone, patriae. 

6 Instar veris enim vultus ubi tuus 

7 adfulsit populo, gratior it dies 

8 et soles melius nitent.^ 

[ii] A Prophecy of Woe 

[Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea, halts the ship of Paris hearing 
Helen to Troy, and foretells the Trojan War.] 

1 Pastor cum traheret per freta navibus 

2 Idaeis Helenen perfidus hospitam, 

3 ingrato celeres obruit otio 

4 ventos, ut caneret ferd, ^ 

5 Nereus fata. *' Mala ducis avi domum, 

6 quam multo repetet Graecia milite, 

7 coniurata tuas rumpere nuptias 

8 et regnum Priami vetus. 

9 Heu, heu, quant us equis, quant us adest viris 
10 sudor, quanta naoves funera Dardanae 

78 National or Classical Roman Literature 

1 1 genti ! lam galeam Pallas et aegida 

12 currusque et rabiem parat. 

13 Iracunda diem proferet Ilio 

14 matronisque Phrygum elassis Achillei. 

15 Post certas hiemes uret Achaicus 

16 ignis Iliacas domos." 

[in] On the Death of Quintilius 
[Quintilius was the beloved friend of Horace and Vergil.] 

1 Quis desiderio sit pudor, aut modus 

2 tam cari capitis ? Praecipe lugubris 

3 cantus, Melpomene, cui liqmdam pater 

4 vocem cum cithara dedit. 

5 Ergo (^uintilium perpetuus sopor 

6 urg^t! Cui Pudor et lustitiae soror, 

7 incorrupta Fides, nudaque Veritas 

8 quando ullum inveniet parem? 

9 Multis ille bonis flebilis occidit; 

10 nulli fiebilior quam tibi, Vergili; 

11 tu (frustra pius, heu) non ita creditum 

12 poscis Quintilium deos. 

13 Quid si Threicio blandius Orpheo ^ 

14 audit am in6(lerere arboribus fidern? 

15 Num vana6 redeat sanguis imaigini, 

16 quam virga semel horrida, 

17 non lenis precibus fata recludere, 

18 nigro compulerit Mercurius gregi? 

19 Durum: sed levius fit patientia 

20 quicquid corrigere est nefas. 

[f] " Fourth " Asclepiadean 
The metrical scheme for the "fourth" Asclepiadean — i.e., the 
more complicated Asclepiadean stanza (aabc) — ^is as follows : 

Fourth Period 79 

^- ^ww ± X 

[z] A Hymn to Diana and Apollo 

1 Dianam tenerae dicite virgines; 

2 intonsum, pueri, dicite Cynthiuin, 

3 Latonamque supremo 

4 dilectam penitus lovi. 

5 Vos laetam fluviis et nemorum coma, 

6 quaeciimque aut gelido prominet Algido, 

7 nigris aut Erymanthi 

8 silvis aut viridis Gragi; 

9 vos Tempe totidem tollite laudibus 

10 natalemque, mares, Delon Apollinis 

1 1 insignemque pharetra 

12 fraternaque umerum lyra. 

13 Hie bellum lacrimosum, hie miseram famem 

14 pestemque a populo et principe Caesare in 

15 Persas atque Britannos 

16 vestra motus aget prece. ^ vv> ^ ' 


> \ii\ To a Shy Maiden 

1 Vitas hinuleo me similis, Chloe, \^ 

2 quaerenti pavidam montibus aviis 

3 matrem, non sine vano 

4 aurarum et siltiae metu; 

5 nam seu mobilibus vepris inhorruit 

6 ad ventum foliis, seu virides rubum 

7 dimovere lacertae, 

8 et corde et genibus tremit. 

80 National or Classical Roman Literature 

9 Atqui non ego te, tigris ut aspera 

10 Gaetulusve leo, frangere persequor; 

11 tandem desine matrem 

12 tempestiva sequi viro. 

[g] " Fifth," or Greater, Asclepiadean 
The metrical scheme for the "fifth," or greater, Asclepiadean- 
i.e., the longer Asclepiadean line — is as follows: 

In Praise of Wine 

1 NuUam, Vare, sacra vite prius sever is arborem 

2 circa mite solum Tiburis et moenia Catili. 

3 Siccis omnia nam dura deus proposuit, neque 

4 mordaces aliter diffugiunt spUicitudines. 

5 Quis post vina gravem militiam aut pauperiem 

crepat?™- ''^^ w^-^\-- \ -^^o ^ • Hi 

6 Quis non te potius, Bacche pater, teque, decens 

Venus ? 



In 23 B.C., Horace collected and published his odes in three 
books. The following selections are grouped under headings that 
indicate the poet's fundamental interests and beliefs — a cross- 
section of his personality. 

[a] A Poet's Mission 

[i] Prologue 

[Horace began his three-volume edition with this poem, and 

closed it with the only other poem in the same meter (the first 

Asclepiadean).^ These two poems may therefore be regarded as 

prologue and epilogue of the collection. Moreover they also 

^ The poem in first Asclepiadeans, To Censorinus (p. 75), is from the 
fourth book of Odes, pubb'shed ten years later. 

Fourth Period 81 

complement each other in subject matter, the one dealing with a 
poet's hopes and ambitions — in contrast to those of fellow citizens 
in various walks of life — , the other with his attainment of endur- 
ing fame.] 

1 Maecenas atavis edite regibus, 

2 o et praesidium et dulce decus meum : 

3 Sunt quos curriculo pulverem Olympicum 

4 coUegisse iuvat, metaque fervidis 

5 evitata rotis, palmaque nobilis. + 

6 Terrarum dominos evehit ad deos 

7 hunc, si mobilium turba Quiritium 

8 certat tergeminis tollere honoribus; 

9 ilium, si proprio condidit horreo 

10 quicquid de Libycis verritur areis. l 

11 Gaudent em patrios finder e sarculo r 

12 agros Attahcis condicionibus 

13 numquam demoveas, ut trabe Cypria v u^^' 

14 Myrtoum pavidus nauta secet mare. - ^^cv 

15 Luctantem Icariis fluctibus Africum . „V>^^ "^ ^^^ 

16 mercator metuens, otium et oppidi ,_^^ v^ ^ 

17 laudat rura sui; mox reficit rates \^\.^a ^^.s^V- <-A ~^^ 

18 quassas, indocilis pauperiem pati. 

19 Est qui nee veteris pocula Massici 

20 nee partem solido demere de die 

21 spernit, nunc viridi membra sub arbuto 

22 stratus, nunc ad aquae lene caput sacrae. 

23 Multos castra iuvant, et lituo tubae .,^^ 

24 permixtus sonitus, bellaque matribus 

25 detestata. Manet sub love frigido . , v.w^'-^ 

26 venatpr, tenerae coniugis immemor, ^ ■ "^ 

27 seu visa est catulis cerva fidelibus 

28 seu rupit teretes Marsus aper plagas. 

29 Me doctarum hederae praemia frontium 

30 dis miscent su peris; me gelidum nemus 

31 Nympharumque leves cum Satyris chori 

82 National or Classical Roman Literature 

32 secernunt popiilo, si neque tibias 

33 Euterpe cohibet nep Polyhymnia 

34 Lesboum refugit tendere barbitonr 

35 Quodsi me lyricis vatibus inseres, 

36 sublimi feriam sidera vertice.^ '^ '"■ 

[ii] Consecration 
[The j&rst six odes of Book III form a connected series, 
representing — together with the Carmen Saeculare — Horace's 
most serious effort. They contain his ethical "message," and 
treat of the following topics: (1) contentment;^ (2) manliness; 
(3) purposefulness; (4) spiritual power; (5) patriotism; and (6) 
piety. In the opening of the fourth (here given as a separate 
ode), as in the Prologue , Horace avows his complete devotion to 
poetry. These stanzas, however, portray him as one to whom 
the Muses were patron saints; they record the tale of how the 
child Horace, lost in the woods, miraculously escaped unharmed — 
and was thus preserved to become the ''poet laureate" of Rome.] 

1 Descende caelo et die age tibia 

2 regina longum Calliope melos, 

3 seu voce nunc mavis acuta 

4 seu fidibus citharave Phoebi. 

5 Auditis ? An me ludit amabilis 

6 insania? Audire et videor pios 

7 errare per lucos, amoenae 

8 quos et aquae subeunt et aurae. 

9 Me fabulosae Volture in avio ■ 

10 (nutricis extra limina PuUiae) 

1 1 ludo f atigatumque somno 

12 fronde nova puerum palumbes 

13 texere (mirum quod foret omnibus, 

14 quicumque celsae nidum Aceruntiae 

15 saltusque Bantinos et arvum 

16 pingue tenent humilis Forenti), 
1 See p. 92. 

Fourth Period 83 

17 ut tuto ab atris corpore viperis 

18 dormirem et ursis, ut premerer sacra 

19 l^uroqlie conlataque myrto — 

20 non sine dis animosus infans! 

21 yester, Camenae, vester in arduos 

22 tollor Sabinos — seu mihi frigidum 

23 Praeneste seu Tibur supinum 

24 seu liquidae placuere Baiae. 

25 Vestris amicum fontibus et choris. v v ^ + 

ersa acies retro, 

27 devota non exstinxit arbor 

28 nee Sicula Palinurus unda. 

29 tJtcumque mecum vos eritis, libens , \ ^ 

30 insanientem navita Bosporum 

31 temptabo et urentis harenas 

32 litoris Assyrii viator, 

33 visam Britannos hospitibus feros \ ^ 

34 et laetum equino sanguine Concanuni, 

35 visam pharetratos Gelonos 

3fi et Scythicum inviolatus amnem. 

[in] Metamorphosis 

[In this witty allegory of the poet's fame, Horace feels himself 
turning into a swan; his wings are sprouting, and soon his soul 
will soar afar.] 

1 Non usitata nee tenui ferar 

2 penna biformis per liquidum aethera 

3 vates, neque in terris morabor 

4 longius, invidiaque maior 

5 urbis relinquam. Non ego (pauperum 

6 sanguis parentum), non ego (quem vocas), 

7 dilecte Maecenas, obibo 

8 nee Stygia cohibebor unda. 

84 National or Classical Roman Literature ■ 

9 lam iam residunt cruribus asperae 1 

10 pelles, et album mutor in alitem 1 

11 superne, nascunturque leves j 

12 per digit OS umerosque plumae. 

13 lam Daedaleo notior Icaro 

14 visam gementis litora Bqspori ' 

15 Syrtisque Gaetulas canorus | 

16 ales Hyperboreosque campos. i 

17 Me Colchus et (qui dissimulat metum j 

18 Marsae cohortis) Dacus et ultimi j 

19 noscent Geloni; me peritus | 

20 discet Hiber Rhodanique potor. 1 

21 Absint inani funere neniae 

22 luctusque turpes et querimoniae; 

23 compesce clamorem ac sepulchri 

24 mitte supervacuos honores. 

[iv] An Enduring Monument 
[This is the epilogue to the three-book edition of the Odes.] 

1 Exegi monumentum aere perennius 

2 regalique situ pyramidum altius, 

3 quod non imber edax, non aquilo impotens 

4 possit diruere aut innumerabilis 

5 annorum series et fuga temporum. 

6 Non omnis moriar, multaque pars mei 

7 vitabit Libitinam. Usque ego poster a 

8 crescam laude recens, dum Capitolium 

9 scandet cum tacita virgine pontifex. j 

10 Dicar (qua violens obstrepit Aufidus 

1 1 et qua pauper aquae Daunus agrestium 

12 regnavit populorum), ex humiU potens, 

13 princeps Aeolium carmen ad Italos 

14 deduxisse modos. Sume superbiam 

15 quaesitam meritis, et mihi Delphica 
10 lauro cinge volens, Melpomene, comam. 

Fourth Period 85 

[b] A Poet's Tastes 
[i] Good Cheer and a Light Heart 

1 Vides ut alta stet nive candidum 

2 Soracte, nee iam sustineant onus 

3 silvae laborantes, geluque 

4 flumina eonstiterint acuto. 

5 Dissolve frigus, ligna super foco 

6 large rejionens; atque benignius 

7 deprome qua^rinium Sabina, 

8 o Thaliarche, merum diota^ ^ 

9 Permitte divis cetera — qui simul 

10 stravere ventos (aequore fervido 

11 deproeliantis), nee cupressi r^ 

12 nee veteres agitantur orni. 

13 Quid sit futurum eras, fuge quaerere; et 

14 quem Fors dierum cumque dabit, lucro 

15 adpone; nee dulcis amores 

16 sperne, puer, neque tu choreas, 

17 donee virenti canities abest 

18 morosa. Nunc et campus et areae 

19 lenesque sub noctem susurri 

20 composita repetantur hora, 

21 nunc et latentis proditor intimo 

22 gratus puellae risus ab angulo 

23 pignusque dereptum lacertis 

24 aut digit o male pertinaci. 

[it] To A Boon Companion of His Youth 

1 O saepe mecum tempus in ultimum 

2 deducte (Bruto militiae duce), 

3 quis te redonavit Quiritem 

4 dis patriis Italoque caelo, 

86 National or Classical Roman Literature 

5 Pompei, meorum prime sodalium, 

6 cum quo morantem saepe diem mercT 

7 fregi, coronatus nitentis 

8 malobathro Syrio capillos? 

9 Tecum Philippos et celerem fugam 

10 sensi, relict a non bene parmula, 

1 1 cum fracta virl^us et minaces ' ' 

12 turpe soliim tetigere mento. 

13 Sed me per hostis Mercurius celer 

14 denso paventem sustulit aere; 

15 te rursus in bellum resorbens ^^ ^"^ 

16 unda fretis tulit aestuosis. 

17 Ergo obligatam redde lovi dapem, 

18 longaque fessum militia latiis ^ 

19 depone sub lauru mea, nee 

20 parce cadis tibi destinatis. 

21 Oblivioso levia Massico 

22 ciboria exple; funde capacibus .^ 

23 unguenta de conchis. Quis udo 

24 deproperiare apio coronas 

25 curatve mjo-to ? Quem Venus arbitruni ' 

26 dicet bibendi? Non ego sanius 

27 baccKabor Edonis; recepto 

28 dulce mihi furere est amico. 

[m] A Quiet Resting Place 

1 Septimi, Gadis aditure mecum et 

2 Cantabrum (indoctum iuga ferre nostra) et 

3 barbaras Syrtis, ubi Maura semper 

4 aestuat unda: 

5 Tibur, Argaeo positum colono, 

6 sit meae sedes utinam senectae, 

7 sit modus lasso maris et viarum 

8 militiaeque. 

Fourth Period 87 

9 Unde si Parcae prohibent iniquae, 

10 dulce pellitis ovibus Galaesi 

11 flumen et regnata petam Laconi 

12 rura Phalantho. V 

13 lUe terrarum mihi praeter omnis ^ ^^ 

14 angulus ridet, ubi non Hymetto 

15 iiiella dec^dunt, viridique certat 

16 baca Venafro; 

17 ver ubi longum tepidasque praebet 

18 luppiter brumas, et amicus Aulon 

19 fertili Baccho minimum Falernis 

20 invidet uvis. 

21 lUe te mecum locus et beatae 

22 postulant arces : ibi tu calentem 

23 debita sparges lacrima favillam 

24 vatis amici. 

[c] Philosophy of Life 

[i] The Golden Mean 

[Horace gives advice to his friend Licinius on the conduct of 
Hfe: Follow a middle course ^ never go to extremes!] 

1 Rectius vives, Licini, neque altum ^i^ u? 

2 semper urgendo, neque, dum procellas 

3 cautus horrescis, nimium premendo 

4 htus iniquum. , ^ a ^> ^ 

5 Auream quisquis mediocritatem 

6 diligit, tutus caret obsoleti 

7 ^ordibus tecti, caret invidenda 

8 sobrius aula. 

9 Saepius ventis agitatur ingens () V*^ ^^ 

10 pinus, et celsae graviore casu In ^ ^^V* 

11 decidiint turres, feriuntque summos \ 

12 fulgura montis. ^ 

88 National or Classical Roman Literature 

13 Sperat infestis, metuit secundis 

14 alteram sortem bene praeparatum \. ^ ^V^^^J 

15 pectus. Informis hiemes reducit Vc-\^^^ 

16 luppiter; idem - . ^..\ v? ^^-^V— ^ tV.vv- C — 

17 submovet. Non, si male nunc, et olim 

18 sic erit: quondam cithara tacentem ,^\^ \ 

19 suscitat Musam 

20 tendit Apollo. 

19 suscitat Musam neque semper arcum .^.^^ c:.\^ 

21 Rebus angustis animosus atque 

22 fortis appare; sapienter idem 

23 contrahes, vento nimium secundo, 

24 turgida vela. 

[ii] Enjoy the Fleeting Hour 
[This is addressed to his friend Dellius.] 

1 Aequam memento rebus in arduis 

2 servare mentem, non secus in bonis 

3 ab insolenti temperatam 

4 laetitia, moriture Delli, 

5 seu maestus omni tempore vixeris, 

6 seu te, in remoto gramine per dies 

7 festos reclinatum, bearis 

8 interiore not a Falerni. 

9 Quo pinus ingens albaque populus 

10 umbram hospitalem consociare amant 

11 ramis? Quid obliquo laborat 

12 lympha f ugax trepidare rivo ? 

13 Hue vina et unguenta et nimium brevis 

14 fiores amoenae ferre iube rosae, 

15 dum res et aetas et Sororum 

16 fila trium patiuntur atra. 

17 Cedes coemptis saltibus et domo 

18 villaque (flavus quam Tiberis lavit): 

y.U (j.-^ 

Fourth Period 89 

19 cedes, et exstructis in altum 

20 divitiis potietur heres. 

21 Divesne prisco natus ab Inacho, 

22 nil interest, an pauper et infima 

23 de gente sub divo moreris, 

24 victima nil miserantis Orci. 

25 Omnes eodem cogimur. Omnium 

26 versatur urna serius ocius 

27 sors exitura et nos in aeternum 

28 exilium impositura cymbae. 

[til] "Years Glide On" 

1 Eheu fugaces, Postume, Postume, 

2 labuntur anni, nee pietas moram 

3 rugis et instanti senectae 

4 adferet indomitaeque morti, 

5 non si trecenis quotquot eunt dies, 

6 amice, places inlacrimabilem 

7 Plutona tauris, qui ter amplum 

8 Geryonen Tityonque tristi 

9 compescit unda, scilicet omnibus 

10 (quicumque terrae munere vescimur) 

11 enaviganda, sive reges 

12 sive inopes erimus coloni. 

13 Frustra cruento marte carebimus 

14 fractisque rauci fluctibus Hadriae, 

15 frustra per autumnos nocentem 

16 corporibus metuemus austrum. 

17 Visendus ater flumine languido 

18 Cocytus errans et Danai genus 

19 infame damnatusque longi 

20 Sisyphus Aeolides laboris. 

90 National or Classical Roman Literature 

21 Linquenda tellus et domus et placens 

22 uxor; neque harum, quas colis, arborum 

23 te praeter in visas cu presses 

24 ulla brevem dominum sequetur. 

25 Absumet heres Caecuba dignior 

26 servata centum clavibus, et mero 

27 tinguet pavimentum superbo, 

28 pontificum potiore cenis. 

[iv] Where Is True Peace To Be Found? 

1 Otium divos rogat in patenti 

2 prensus Aegaeo, simul atra nubes 

3 condidit lunam neque certa fulgent 

4 sidera nautis, 

5 otium bello furiosa Thrace, 

6 otium Medi pharetra decori, 

7 Grosphe — non gemmis neque purpura ve- 

8 nale nee auro. 

9 Non enim gazae neque consular is 

10 submovet lictor miseros tumult us 

11 mentis et curas laqueata circum 

12 tecta volantis. 

13 Vivitur parvo bene, cui paternum 

14 splendet in mensa tenui salinum, 

15 nee levis somnos timor aut cupido 

16 sordidus aufert. 

17 Quid brevi fortes iaculamur aevo 

18 multa? Quid terras alio calentis 

19 sole mutamus? Patriae quis exsul 

20 se quoque fugit ? 

21 Scandit aeratas vitiosa navis 

22 Cura nee turmas equitum relinquit, 

23 ocior cervis et agente nimbos 

24 ocior Euro. 

Fourth Period 91 

25 Laetus in praesens animus quod ultra est 

26 oderit curare, et amara lento 

27 temperet risu: nihil est ab omni 

28 parte beatum. 

29 Abstulit clarum cita mors Achillem; 

30 longa Tithonum minuit senectus; 

31 et mihi forsan tibi quod negarit 

32 porriget hora. 

33 Te greges centum Siculaeque circum 

34 mugiunt vaccae, tibi tollit hinnitum 

35 apta quadrigis equa, te bis Afro 

36 murice tinctae 

37 vestiunt lanae: mihi parva rura et 

38 spiritum Graiae tenuem Camenae 

39 Parca non mendax dedit et malignum 

40 spernere vulgus. 

[v] The Simple Life Is Best 

1 Non ebur neque aureum ,. , , ^ -— ^^ 

2 mea renidet in domo lacunar: 

3 non trabes Hymettiae 

4 premunt columnas, ultima recisas 

5 Africa; neque (Attali 

6 ignotus heres) regiam occupavi; 

7 nee Laconicas mihi 

8 trahunt honestae purpuras clientae. 

9 At fides et ingeni 

10 benigna vena est, pauperemque dives 

11 me petit: nihil supra 

12 deos lacesso, nee potentem amicum 

13 largiora flagito, 

14 satis beatus unicis Sabinis. 

15 Truditur dies die 

16 novaeque pergunt interire lunae: 

17 tu secanda marmora 


92 National or Classical Roman Literature 

18 locas sub ipsum funus, et sepulchri 

19 immemor struis domos, 

20 marisque Bais obstrepentis urges 

21 submovere litora — 

22 parum locuples continente ripa. 

23 Quid quod usque proximos 

24 revellis agri terminos, et ultra 

25 limites clientium 

26 salis avarus? Pellitur paternos 

27 in sinu ferens deos 

28 et uxor et vir sordidosque natos. 

29 Nulla certior tamen 

30 rapacis Orci fine destinata 

31 aula divitem manet , ^ ^ 

32 erum. Quid ultra tendis ? Aequa tellus 

33 pauperi recluditur 

34 regiimque piieris, nee satelles Orci 

35 caUidum Promethea 

36 revexit auro captus. Hie super bum 

37 Tantalum at que Tantali 

38 genus coercet; hie levare functum 

39 pauperem laboribus 

40 vocatus — atque non vocatus — audit! 

[vi] Contentment 
[This is a sermon addressed to the rising generation.*] 

1 Odi profanum vulgus et arceoi ^ ^ 

i, 2 "Favete Unguis'*: carmina non prius i 

>^^ 3 audita Musarum sacerdos 

4 virginibus puerisque canto. ""^ 

5 Regum timendorum in proprios greges, 

6 reges in ipsos imperium est lovis — \<; 

7 clari giganteo triumpho, 

8 cuncta superciUo moventis. 
1 See p. 82. 


Fourth Period 93 

9 Est ut viro vir latius ordinet " ^ ^ y,r^*^ 

10 arbusta sulcis, hie generosior 

1 1 descendat in Campum petitor, 

12 moribus hie meliorque fama 

13 contendat, illi turba clientium 

14 sit maior: aequa lege Necessitas 

15 sortitur insigms et imos; 

16 omne capax mo vet urna nomen. 

17 Destrietus ensis eui super impia 

18 cervice pendet, non Siculae dapes 

19 dulcem elaborabunt saporem, 

20 non avium eitharaeque cantus 

21 somnum redueent: somnus agrestium 

22 lenis virorum non humilis domos 

23 fastidit umbrosamque ripam, 

24 non Zephyris agitata tempe. 

25 Desiderantem quod satis est neque 

26 tumultuosum soUicitat mare 

27 nee saevus Arcturi eadentis 

28 impetus aut orientis Haedi, 

29 non verberatae grandine vineae 

30 fundusque mendax (arbore nunc aquas 

31 culpante, nunc torrentia agros 

32 sidera, nunc hiemes iniquas). 

33 Contract a pisces aequora sentiunt 

34 iactis in altum molibus; hue frequens 

35 caementa demittit redemptor 

36 cum famulis dominusque terrae 

37 fastidiosus; sed Timor et Minae 

38 scandunt eodem, quo dominus, neque 

39 decedit aerata triremi, et 

40 post equitem sedet atra Cura. 

94 National or Classical Roman Literature 

41 Quodsi dolentem nee Phrygius lapis 

42 nee purpurarum sidere elarior 

43 delenit usus nee Falerna 

44 vitis Aehaemeniumque eostum, 

45 eur invidendis postibus et novo 
-.- 46 sublime ritu moliar atrium ? 

^ .,. 47 Cur valle permutem Sabina 
V-^ 48 divitias operosiores ? 

[d] Love 
Note that even in love Horace remains true to his philosophy 

[i] To A Lady 

[Horace advises her to take no thought for the morrow.] 

1 Tu ne quaesieris (scire nefas!), quem mihi, quem tibi 

2 finem di dederint, Leuconoe, nee Babylonios 

3 temptaris numeros. Ut mehus, quicquid erit, pati! 

4 Seu pluris hiemes, seu tribuit luppiter ultimam, 

5 quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare 

6 Tyrrhenum, — sapias, vina Hques, et spatio brevi 

7 spem longam reseces. Dum loquimur, fugerit invida 

8 aetas. Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero! 

[it] Love Maketh a Man Righteous! 

1 Integer vitae scelerisque purus 

2 non eget Mauris iaeulis neque arcu 

3 nee venenatis gravida sagittis, 

4 Fusee, pharetra, 

5 sive per Syrtis iter aestuosas, 

6 sive faeturus per inhospitalem 

7 Caucasum, vel quae loea fabulosus 

8 lambit Hydaspes. 

9 Namque me silva lupus in Sabina, 

10 dum meam canto Lalagen et ultra 

1 1 terminum curis vagor expeditis, 

12 fugit inermem: 

Fourth Period 95 

13 quale portentum neque militaris 

14 Daunias latis alit aesculetis, 

15 nee lubae tellus general, leonum 

16 arida nutrix. 

17 Pone me, pigris ubi nulla campis 

18 arbor aestiva recreatur aura 

19 (quod latus mundi nebulae malusque 

20 luppiter urget) ; 

21 pone sub curru nimium propinqui 

22 solis in terra domibus negata: 

23 dulce ridentem Lalagen amabo, 

24 dulce loquentem. 

[in] The Lovers' Quarrel 

[This is a dramatic dialogue, somewhat in the pastoral style, 
between Horace and "Lydia. "] 

1 Donee gratus eram tibi 

2 nee quisquam potior bracchia candidae 

3 cervici iuvenis dabat, 

4 Persarum vigui rege beatior. 

5 Donee non alia magis 

6 arsisti neque erat Lydia post Chloen, 

7 multi Lydia nominis 

8 Romana vigui clarior Ilia. 

9 Me nunc Thressa Chloe regit, 

10 dulcis docta modos et citharae sciens, 

11 pro qua non metuam mori, 

12 si parcent animae fata superstiti. 

13 Me torret face mutua 

14 Thurini Calais filius Ornyti, 

15 pro quo bis patiar mori, 

16 si parcent puero fata superstiti. 

96 National or Classical Roman Literature 

17 Quid si prisca redit Venus 

18 diductosque iugo cogit aeneo, 

19 si flava excutitur Chloe 

20 reiectaeque patet ianua Lydiae? 

21 Quamquam sidere pulchrior 

22 ille est, tu levior cortice et improbo 

23 iracundior Hadria: 

24 tecum vivere amem, tecum obeam libens. 

[iv] To A Coquette 

1 Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa 

2 perfusus liquidis urget odoribus 

3 grato, Pyxrha, sub antro? 

4 Cui flavam religas comam, 

5 simplex munditiis? Heu quotiens fidem 

6 mutatosque deos flebit et aspera 

7 nigris aequora ventis 

8 emirabitur insolens, 

9 qui nunc te fruitur credulus aurea, 

10 qui semper vacuam, semper amabilem 

1 1 sperat, nescius aurae 

12 fallacis. Miseri, quibus 

13 intemptata nites. Me tabula sacer 

14 votiva paries indicat uvida 

15 suspendisse potenti 

16 vestimenta maris deo. 

[v] A Recantation 

1 O matre pulchra filia pulchrior, 

2 quem criminosis cumque voles modum 

3 pones iambis, sive flamma 

4 sive mari libet Hadriano. 

5 Non Dindymene, non adytis quatit 

6 mentem sacerdotum incola Pythius, 

Fourth Period 97 

7 non Liber aeque, non acuta 

8 sic geminant Corybantes aera, 

9 tristes ut irae, quas neque Noricus 

10 deterret ensis nee mare naufragum 

1 1 nee saevus ignis nee tremendo 

12 luppiter ipse ruens tumultu. 

13 Fertur Prometheus, addere principi 

14 limo coactus particulam undique 

15 desectam, et insani leonis 

16 vim stomacho adposuisse nostro. 

17 Irae Thyesten exitio gravi 

18 stravere et altis urbibus ultimae 

19 stetere causae, cur perirent 

20 funditus imprimeretque muris 

21 hostile aratrum exercitus insolens. 

22 Compesce mentem! Me quoque pectoris 

23 temptavit in dulci iuventa 

24 fervor et in celeres iambos 

25 misit furentem: nunc ego mitibus 

26 mutare quaero tristia, dum mihi 

27 fias recant atis amica 

28 opprobriis animumque reddas. 

[e] Country Life 
[i] To THE Spring of Bandusia 
[The spring of Bandusia was on Horace's Sabine farm.] 

1 O fons Bandusiae, splendidior vitro, 

2 dulci digne mero non sine floribus, 

3 eras donaberis haedo, 

4 cui frons, turgida cornibus 

5 primis, et venerem et proelia destinat. 

6 Frustra! Nam gelidos inficiet tibi 

98 National or Classical Roman Literature 

7 rubro sanguine rivos 

8 lascivi suboles gregis. 

9 Te flagrantis atrox hora Caniculae 

10 nescit tangere. Tu frigus amabile 

11 fessis vomere tauris 

12 praebes et pecori vago. 

13 Fies nobilium tu quoque fontium, 

14 me dicente cavis impositam ilicem 

15 saxis, unde loquaces 

16 lymphae desiliunt tuae. 

[it] A Prayer to Faun 

1 Faune, Nympharum fugientum amator, 

2 per meos finis et aprica rura 

3 lenis incedas abeasque parvis 

4 aequus alumnis, 

5 si tener pleno cadit haedus anno, 

6 larga nee desunt Veneris sodali 

7 vina craterae, vetus ara multo 

8 fumat odore. 

9 Ludit herboso pecus omne campo, 

10 cum tibi nonae redeunt decembres. 

1 1 Festus in pratis vacat otioso 

12 cum bove pagus. 

13 Inter audacis lupus errat agnos. 

14 Spargit agrestis tibi silva frondes. 

15 Gaudet invisam pepulisse fossor 

16 ter pede terram. 

Fourth Period 99 

[in] Rustic Faith 

[Like the '^widow's mite/' the humble offering of the peasant 
woman Phfdyle is more acceptable to the gods than the heca- 
tombs of priests.] 

1 Caelo supinas si tuleris manUs, 

2 nascente luna, rustica Phidyle; 

3 si ture placaris et horna 

4 fruge Laris avidaque porca: 

5 nee pestilentem sentiet Africum 

6 fecunda vitis, nee sterilem seges 

7 robiginem, aut dulces alumni 

8 pomifero grave tempus anno. 

9 Nam quae nivali pascitur Algido 

10 devota (quercus inter et ilices) 

11 aut crescit Albanis in herbis 

12 victima, pontificum securis 

13 cervice tinguet. Te nihil attinet 

14 temptare mult a caede bidentium, 

15 parvos coronantem marino 

16 rore deos fragilique myrto. 

17 Immunis aram si tetigit manus, 

18 non sumptuosa blandior hostia, 

19 mollivit a versos Penatis 

20 farre pio et saliente mica. 

[f] Rome 
[i] The Ship of State 

1 O navis, referent in mare te novi 

2 fluctus. O quid agis ? Fortiter occupa 

3 portum. Nonne vides, ut 

4 nudum remigio latus 

100 National or Classical Roman Literature 

5 et malus celeri saucius Africo 

6 antemnaeque gemant, ac sine funibus 

7 vix durare carinae 

8 possint imperiosius 

9 aequor ? Non tibi sunt Integra lintea, 

10 non di, quos iterum pressa voces malo. 

11 Quamvis, Pontica pinus, 

12 silvae filia nobilis, 

13 iactes et genus et nomen, — ^inutile! 

14 Nil pictis timidus navita puppibus 

15 fidit. Tu, nisi ventis 

16 debes ludibrium, cave. 

17 Nuper sollicitum quae mihi taedium, 

18 nunc desiderium curaque non levis, 

19 interfusa nitentis 

20 vites aequora Cycladas. 

[ii] On the Triumph of Augustus Over Cleopatra 

1 Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero 

2 pulsanda tellus; nunc Saliaribus 

3 ornare pulvinar deorum 

4 tempus erat dapibus, sodales. 

5 Antehac nefas depromere Caecubum 

6 cellis avitis, dum Capitolio 

7 regina dementis ruinas, 

8 funus et imperio parabat, 

9 contaminato cum grege turpium 

10 morbo virorum, quidlibet impotens 

1 1 sperare f ortunaque dulci 

12 ebria. Sed minuit furorem 

13 vix una sospes navis ab ignibus, 

14 mentemque Ijnnphatam Mareotico 

15 redegit in veros timores 

16 Caesar ab Italia volantem 

17 remis adurgens (accipiter velut 

18 mollis columbas aut leporem citus 

Fourth Period 101 

19 venator in campis nivalis 

20 Haemoniae), daret ut catenis 

21 fatale monstrum. Quae, generosius 

22 perire quaerens, nee muliebriter 

23 expavit ensem nee latentis 

24 classe cita reparavit oras. 

25 Ausa et iacentem visere regiam 

26 vultu sereno, fortis et asperas 

27 tractare serpentes, ut atrum 

28 corpore combiberet venenum, 

29 deliberata morte ferocior — 

30 saevis Liburnis scilicet invidens 

31 privata deduci superbo, 

32 non humilis mulier, triumpho. 

[iii] A Prayer to Fortuna 
[Fortuna was the goddess who ruled the destinies of men and 

1 O diva, gratum quae regis Antium, 

2 praesens vel imo tollere de gradu 

3 mortale corpus, vel superbos 

4 vertere funeribus triumphos, 

5 te pauper ambit sollicita prece 

6 ruris colonus, te dominam aequoris 

7 quicumque Bithyna lacessit 

8 Carpathium peiagus carina. 

9 Te Dacus asper, te profugi Scythae 

10 urbesque gentesque et Latium ferox 

11 regumque matres barbarorum et 

12 purpurei metuunt tyranni, 

13 iniurioso ne pede proruas 

14 stantem columnam, neu populus frequens 

15 ''ad arma" cessantis "ad arma" 

16 concitet imperiumque frangat. 

17 Te semper anteit saeva Necessitas, 

18 clavos trabalis et cuneos manu 


102 National or Classical Roman Literature 

19 gestans aena — nee severus 

20 uncus abest liquidumque plumbum. 

21 Te Spes et albo rara Fides colit 

22 velata panno — nee comitem abnegat, 

23 uteumque mutata potentis 

24 veste domos inimiea linquis, 

25 at vulgus infidum et meretrix retro 

26 periura eedit, diffugiunt (cadis 

27 cum faece siecatis) amici, 

28 ferre iugum pariter dolosi! 

29 Serves iturum Caesarem in ultimos 

30 or bis Britannos et iuvenum recens 
, 31 examen (Eois timendum 

32 partibus Oceanoque Rubro). 

33 Heu, heu, cicatricum et sceleris pudet 

34 fratrumque ! Quid nos dura ref ugimus 

35 aetas? Quid int actum nefasti 

36 liquimus ? Unde manum inventus 

37 metu deorum continuit? Quibus 

38 pepercit aris? O utinam nova 

39 incude diffingas retusum in 

40 Massagetas Arabasque ferrum. 


Epistles '^ > ' 

The first book of epistles ^ — published in 20 B.C. — ^is a return 

to the sermo, or familiar verse, which was predominantly satiric 

or ethical. 

1 Horace published a second book of epistles shortly before his death. 
They were three in number — all of considerable length — and dealt with 
literary criticism. Of the three, the most important was the last: the Epistle 
to the Brothers Piso, or the Ars Poetica. This was an essay on the art of poetry, 
and parent to a long line of similar essays in verse — e.g., those of Vida (in the 
sixteenth century), Boileau (in the seventeenth), and Pope (in the eighteenth). 

Fourth Period 103 


On Independence of Character 


[Having left Rome early in August for a few days^ vacation, 
Horace decides not to return until the following spring — he will not 
jeopardize his health to dance attendance on his patron.] 

1 Quinque dies tibi poUicitus me rure futurum, 

2 sextilem totum (mendax) desideror. Atque 

3 si me vivere vis sanum recteque valentem, 

4 quam mihi das aegro, dabis aegrotare timenti, 

5 Maecenas, veniam — dum ficus prima calorque 

6 dissignatorem decorat lictoribus atris, 

7 dum pueris omnis pater et matercula pallet, 

8 officiosaque sedulitas et opella forensis 

9 adducit febris et testamenta resignat. 

10 Quodsi bruma nives Albanis illinet agris, 

11 ad mare descendet vates tuus et sibi parcet 

12 contractusque leget: te, dulcis amice, reviset 

13 cum zephyris, si concedes, et hirundine prima. 

True Generosity and Gratitude 
[The anecdote of the boorish giver.] 

14 Non quo more piris vesci Calaber iubet hospes 

15 tu me fecisti locupletem: ''vescere, sodes." 

16 '* lam satis est." ''At tu quantum vis tolle." ''Benigne." 

17 ''Non invisa feres pueris munuscula parvis." 

18 "Tam teneor dono, quam si dimittar onustus." 

19 "Ut libet: haec porcis hodie comedenda relinques." 

20 Prodigus et stultus donat quae spernit et odit: 

21 haec seges ingratos tulit et feret omnibus annis. 

22 Vir bonus et sapiens dignis ait esse paratus; 

23 nee tamen ignorat, quid distent aera lupinis. 

24 Dignum praestabo me etiam pro laude merentis: 

25 quodsi me noles usquam discedere, reddes 

26 forte latus, nigros angusta fronte capillos. 

104 National or Classical Roman Literature 

27 reddes dulce loqui, reddes ridere decorum, et 

28 inter vina fugam Cinarae maerere protervae. 

Independence Comes High 
[The Aesopic fable of the fox and the weasel.] 

29 Forte per angustam tenuis volpecula rimam 

30 repserat in cumeram frumenti, pastaque rursus 

31 ire foras pleno tendebat corpore frustra. 

32 Cui mustela procul "si vis" ait "effugere istinc, 

33 macra cavum repetes artum, quem macra subisti." 

34 Hac ego si compellor imagine, cuncta resigno: 

35 nee somnum plebis laudo satur altilium, nee 

36 otia divitiis Arabum Uberrima muto. 

37 Saepe verecundum laudasti, rexque paterque 

38 audisti coram, nee verbo parcius absens: 

39 inspice si possum donata reponere laetus. 

Appropriateness Should Rule in All Things 
[The tale of Telemachus and Menelaus, from the Odyssey.] 

40 Haud male Telemachus, proles patientis Ulixi: 

41 "non est aptus equis Ithace locus, ut neque planis 

42 porrectus spatiis nee multae prodigus herbae; 

43 Atride, magis apta tibi tua dona relinquam." 

44 Parvum parva decent : mihi iam non regia Roma, 

45 sed vacuum Tibur placet aut imbelle Tarentum. 

Philip and Volteius Mena 
[A Roman short story: How a good, honest man was ruined 
hy the self-indulgent generosity of a plutocrat.] 

46 Strenuus et fortis causisque Philippus agendis 

47 clarus, ab officiis octavam circiter horam 

48 dum redit at que foro nimium distare Carinas 

49 iam grandis natu queritur, conspexit (ut aiunt) 

50 adrasum quendam vacua tonsoris in umbra 

51 cultello proprios purgantem leniter unguis. 

52 "Demetri" (puer hie non laeve iussa Philippi 

53 accipiebat) **abi, quaere et refer: unde domo, quis, 

Fourth Period 105 

64 cuius fortunae, quo sit patre quove patrono." 

65 It, redit, et narrat: Volteium nomine Menam; 

56 praeconem; tenui censu; sine crimine; notum 

57 et proper are loco et cessare, et quaerere et uti; 

58 gaudentem parvisque sodalibus et lare certo 

59 et ludis et (post decisa negotia) Campo. 

60 "Scitari libet ex ipso quodcumque refers: die 

61 ad cenam veniat." Non sane credere Mena; 

62 mirari secum tacitus. Quid multa? "Benigne" 

63 respondet. " Neget ille mihi ? " "Negat improbus, et te 

64 neglegit aut horret." Volteium mane Philippus, 

65 vilia vendentem tunicato scruta popello, 

66 occupat, et salvere iubet prior; ille Philippo 

67 excusare laborem et mercennaria vincla, 

68 quod non mane domum venisset, denique quod non 

69 providisset eum. " Sic ignovisse putato 

70 me tibi, si cenas hodie mecum/' '*Ut libet." "Ergo 

71 post nonam venies; nunc i, rem strenuus auge." 

72 Ut ventum ad cenam est, dicenda tacenda locutus, 

73 tandem dormitum dimittitur. Hie ubi saepe 

74 occultum visus decurrere piscis ad hamum, 

75 mane cliens et iam certus conviva, iubetur 

76 rura suburbana indictis comes ire Latinis. 

77 Impositus mannis arvum caelumque Sabinum 

78 non cessat laudare. Videt ridetque Philippus; 

79 et sibi dum requiem, dum risus undique quaerit, 

80 dum septem donat sestertia, mutua septem 

81 promittit, persuadet uti mercetur agellum. 

82 Mercatur. Ne te longis ambagibus ultra 

83 quam satis est morer: ex nitido fit rusticus, atque 

84 sulcos et vineta crepat mera, praeparat ulmos, 

85 immoritur studiis, et amore senescit habendi. 

86 Verum ubi oves furto, morbo periere capellae, 

87 spem mentita seges, bos est enectus arando, 

88 offensus damnis media de nocte caballum 

89 arripit iratusque Philippi tendit ad aedis. 

90 Quem simul adspexit scabrum intonsumque Philippus, 

106 National or Classical Roman Literature 

91 "durus," ait "Voltei, nimis attentusque videris 

92 esse mihi." "Pol me ^miserum/ patrone, vocares, 

93 si velles" inquit '^verum mihi ponere nomen: 

94 quod te per Genium dextramque deosque Penatis 

95 obsecro et obtestor, vitae me redde priori.'' 

96 Qui semel adspexit, quantum dimissa petitis 

97 praestent, mature redeat repetatque relicta. 

98 Metiri se quemque suo modulo ac pede verum est. 

A Letter to Albius Tibullus ^ 

1 Albi, nostrorum Sermonum candide iudex, 

2 quid nunc te dicam f acere in regione Pedana ? 

3 Scribere quod Cassi Parmensis opuscula vincat, 

4 an tacitum silvas inter reptare salubris, 

6 curantem quidquid dignum sapiente bonoque est ? 

6 Non tu corpus eras sine pectore: di tibi formam, 

7 di tibi divitias dederunt artemque fruendi. 

8 Quid voveat dulci nutricula mains alumno, 

9 qui sapere et fari possit quae sentiat, et cui 

10 gratia fama valetudo contingat abunde 

11 et mundus victus non deficiente crumina? 

12 Inter spem curamque, timores inter et iras, 

13 omnem crede diem tibi diluxisse supremum: 

14 grata superveniet, quae non sperabitur, hora. 

15 Me pinguem et nitidum, bene curata cute, vises 

16 (cum ridere voles) Epicuri de grege porcum. 


Last: Odes 

The Carmen Saeculare, or Anniversary Ode 

[This was composed in 17 B.C., on the occasion of the ludi 
saeculares, or national Thanksgiving — a religious festival held 
1 See p. 112. 

Fourth Period 107 

once every saeculum} Horace was the official odist, and the 
hymn was sung by a choir of twenty-seven boys and twenty- 
seven girls. Unfortunately the music has not been preserved.] 

1 Phoebe silvarumque potens Diana, 

2 lucidum caeli decus, o colendi 

3 semper et culti, date quae precamur 

4 tempore sacro, 

5 quo Sibyllini monuere versus, 

6 virgines lectas puerosque castos 

7 dis (quibus septem placuere colles) 

8 dicere carmen. 

9 Alme Sol, curru nitido diem qui 

10 promis et celas, aliusque et idem 

11 nasceris, possis nihil urbe Roma 

12 visere mains. 

13 Rite maturos aperire partus 

14 lenis, Ilithufa, tuere matres, 

15 sive tu Lucina probas vocari 

16 seu Genitalis. 

17 Diva, producas subolem patrumque 

18 prosperes decreta super iugandis 

19 feminis prolisque novae feraci 

20 lege marita, 

21 certus undenos deciens per annos 

22 orbis ut cantus referatque ludos, 

23 ter die claro totiensque grata 

24 nocte frequentls. 

25 Vosque veraces cecinisse, Parcae, 

26 quod semel dictum est stabilisque rerum 

27 terminus servet, bona iam peractis 

28 iungite fata. 

^ A saeculum was generally a period of one hundred and ten years, and this 
was the fifth festival of its kind to be held in Rome. 

108 National or Classical Roman Literature 

29 Fertilis frugum pecorisque Tellus 

30 spicea donet Cererem corona; 

31 nutriant fetus et aquae salubres 

32 et lovis aurae. 

33 Condito mitis placidusque telo 

34 supplices audi pueros, Apollo; 

35 siderum regina bicornis audi, 

36 Luna, puellas. 

37 Roma si vestrum est opus Iliaeque 

38 lit us Etruscum tenuere turmae 

39 (iussa pars mutare laris et urbem 

40 sospite cursu, 

41 cui per ardentem sine fraude Troiam 

42 castus Aeneas, patriae superstes, 

43 liberum munivit iter, daturus 

44 plura relictis), 

45 di, probos mores docili iuventae, 

46 di, senectuti placidae quietem, 

47 Romulae genti date remque prolemque 

48 et decus omne; 

49 quaeque vos bobus veneratur albis 

50 clarus Anchisae Venerisque sanguis, 

51 impetret, bellante prior, iacentem 

52 lenis in hostem. 

53 lam mari terraque manus potentis 

54 Medus Albanasque timet securis; 

55 iam Scythae responsa petunt, superbi 

56 nuper, et Indi. 

57 lam Fides et Pax et Honor Pudorque 

58 priscus et neglecta redire Virtus 

59 audet, apparetque beat a pleno 

60 Copia cornu. 

Fourth Period 109 

61 Augur et fulgente decorus arcu 

62 Phoebus acceptusque novem Camenis, 

63 qui salutari levat arte fessos 

64 corporis artus, 

65 si Palatinas videt aequus aras, 

66 remque Romanam Latiumque felix 

67 alterum in lustrum meliusque semper 

68 proroget aevum; 

69 quaeque Aventinum tenet Algidumque 

70 quindecim Diana preces virorum 

71 curet et votis puerorum amicas 

72 applicet auris. 

73 Haec lovem sentire deosque cunctos 

74 spem bonam certamque domum reporto, 

75 doctus et Phoebi chorus et Dianae 

76 dicere laudes. 

Selections From Book IV 
[This book of odes was pubHshed in 13 B.C.] 

[a] Spring and Death 

1 Diffugere nives, redeunt iam gramina campis 

2 arboribusque comae; 

3 mutat terra vices et decrescentia ripas 

4 flumina praetereunt ; 

5 Gratia cum Nymphis geminisque sororibus audet 

6 ducere nuda choros. 

7 ImmortaHa ne speres, monet annus et almum 

8 quae rapit hora diem : 

9 frigora mitescunt Zephyris, ver proterit aestas, 

10 interitura simul 

1 1 pomifer autumnus fruges eff uderit, et mox 

12 bruma recurrit iners. 

13 Damna tamen celeres reparant caelestia lunae: 

110 National or Classical Roman Literature 

14 nos ubi decidimus 

15 quo pater Aeneas, quo Tullus dives et Ancus, 

16 pulvis et umbra sumus. 

17 Quis scit an adiciant hodiernae crastina summae 

18 tempora di superi? 

19 Cuncta manus avidas fugient heredis, amico 

20 quae dederis animo. 

21 Cum semel occideris et de te splendida Minos 

22 fecerit arbitria, 

23 non, Torquate, genus, non te facundia, non te 

24 restituet pietas. 

25 Infernis neque enim tenebris Diana pudicum 

26 liberat Hippolytum, 

27 nee Lethaea valet Theseus abrumpere caro 

28 vincula Pirithoo. 

[b] The Poet's Ambition Achieved 
[This is a sequel to the first ode of Books I-III.^] 

1 Quem tu, Melpomene, semel 

2 nascentem placido lumine videris, 

3 ilium non labor Isthmius 

4 clarabit pugilem; non equus impiger 

5 curru ducet Achaico 

6 victorem; neque res bellica Deliis 

7 ornatum foliis ducem, 

8 quod regum tumidas contuderit minas, 

9 ostendet Capitolio: 

10 sed quae Tibur aquae fertile praefluunt 

11 et spissae nemorum comae 

12 fingent Aeolio carmine nobilem. 

13 Romae, principis urbium, 

14 dignatur suboles inter amabilis 

15 vatum ponere me choros, 

16 et iam dente minus mordeor invido. 

17 O testudinis aureae 

18 dulcem quae strepitum, Pieri, temperas, 

19 O mutis quoque piscibus 

1 See pp. 80-82. 


Fourth Period 111 

20 donatura cycni, si libeat, sonum, 

21 totum muneris hoc tui est, 

22 quod monstror digito praetereuntium 

23 Romanae fidicen lyrae : 

24 quod spiro et placeo (si placeo), tuum est. 


The so-called "elegiac" poets of Rome were: Gallus, Tibiillus, 
Propertius, and Ovid. Of the four, Gallus is the only one whose 
works have not survived. 

While the term ''elegiac" is not truly distinctive — for many 
other Romans, notably Catullus, had written elegies at one time or 
another — , these four poets formed their own definite school. 
They made almost exclusive use of the elegy to express their 
thoughts, which were confined largely to one field — namely, 
sentimental love. Their novelty consists chiefly in the studious 
cultivation of a type of character, or personality, diametrically 
opposed and wholly alien to the ancient Roman ideal of manhood 
— i.e., one that prided itself on its sentimentality, emotional 
susceptibility, and aesthetic delicacy; protested loudly against 
war and hardship, energy and toil, industry and wealth; paraded 
its meekness and gentleness; and gloried in complete surrender to 
love, reveling in the sighs, tears, and plaints of that tender 
passion. Each told in many episodes the melancholy story of his 
loves; each tried to outdo his predecessor; each displayed his 
sentimental and chivalric devotion to a coy or cruel mistress. In 
contrast to Catullus, they mingled fact and fancy, making it 
impossible to tell — save in Ovid — which episodes are true and 
which imaginary. Ovid, the most facile and superficial of the 
three, devoted his elegies to a wholly fictitious mistress and 
consequently achieved a range of thought more varied and less 
exclusively melancholy. Strangely enough, despite the shallow- 
ness of their emotions, these poets succeeded in writing some of 
the simplest and most unaffected of Roman verse. 

None of them was made of the stuff of traditional red-blooded 
heroes. Excluding Gallus — whose meteoric political career ended 
in suicide — , real tragedy came to only one of them — namely. 

112 National or Classical Roman Literature 

Ovid. After a life of ease, pleasure, and popularity, the harsh 
decree of Augustus banished him in his decUning years to a 
bleak village on the Black Sea — a. penalty as severe as exile to 
Siberia. There Ovid, master of imaginary woe, poured forth 
his truly pathetic, though unheroic, plaints and sobs for the ten 
remaining years of his life. 

(Born in 54 B.C.; active from 36-19 B.C.) 


Delia Holds Me Fast 

1 Te bellare decet terra, Messalla, marique, 

2 ut domus hostiles praeferat exuvias:^' 

3 me retinent vinctum formosae vincla puellae, 

4 et sedeo (iuras ianitor ante fores. U^v,..^ "w^ 

5 Non ego laudari euro, mea Delia: tecum 

6 dummodo sim, quaeso segnis inersque vocer, 

7 Te spectem, suprema mihi cum venerit hora, 

8 et teneam moriens deficiente manu. ^ 

9 Flebis in arsuro positum me, Delia, lecto; 

10 tristibus et lacrimis oscula mixta dabis. 

11 Flebis: non tua sunt duro praecbrdia ferro ^ 

12 vincta, nee in tenero stat tibi corde silex.^ 

13 lUo non iuvenis poterit de funere quisquam 

14 lumina, non virgo, sicca referre domum. ,y^^^ 

15 Tu manes ne laede meos, sed parce solutis 

16 crinibus, et teneris, Delia, parce genis. 

17 Interea, dum fata sinunt, iungamus amores: 

18 iam veniet tenebris Mors adoperta caput; 

19 iam subrepet iners aetas; nee amare decebit, 

20 dicere nee cano blanditias capite. 

Fourth Period 113 

If I Should Die 

1 Ibitis Aegaeas sine me, Messalla, per undas, 

2 O utinam memores ipse cohorsque mei. 

3 Me tenet ignotis aegrum Phaeacia terris: 

4 abstineas avidas, Mors, modo, nigra, manus. 

5 Abstineas, Mors atra, precor: non hic mihi mater, 

6 quae legat in maestos ossa perusta sinus; 

7 non soror, Assyrios cineri quae dedat odores 

8 et fleat effusis ante sepulchra comis; 

9 Delia non usquam, quae, me cum mitteret urbe, 

10 dicitur ante omnes consuluisse deos. 

11 Quod si fatales iam nunc explevimus annos, 

12 fac lapis inscriptis stet super ossa notis: 

13 *'Hic iacet immiti consumptus morte Tibullus, 

14 Messallam terra dum sequiturque mari." 

15 Sed me, quod facilis tenero sum semper amori, 

16 ipsa Venus campos ducet in Elysios: 

17 hic choreae cantusque vigent, passimque vagantes 

18 dulce sonant tenui gutture carmen aves; 

19 fert casiam non cult a seges, totosque per agros 

20 floret odoratis terra benigna rosis; 

21 ac iuvenum series teneris immixta puellis 

22 ludit, et assidue proelia miscet amor. 

23 lUic est, cuicumque rapax Mors venit amanti, 

24 et gerit insigni myrtea serta coma. 

25 At scelerata iacet sedes in nocte profunda 

26 abdita, quam circum flumina nigra sonant. 

27 Tantalus est illic, et circum stagna, sed acrem 

28 iam iam poturi deserit unda sitim; 

29 et Danai proles, Veneris quod numina laesit, 

30 in cava Lethaeas dolia portat aquas. 

31 Illic sit, quicumque meos violavit amores, 

32 optavit lentas et mihi miUtias. 

114 National or Classical Roman Literature 

33 At tu casta precor maneas, sanctique pudoris 

34 adsideat custos sedula semper anus. 

35 Haec tibi fabellas referat, positaque lucerna, 

36 deducat plena stamina longa colu. 

37 Tunc veniam subito, nee quisquam nuntiet ante, 

38 sed videar caelo missus adesse tibi. 

39 Tunc mihi, qualis eris, longos turbata capillos, 

40 obvia nudato, Delia, curre pede. 

I Love But Thee 

1 Tu mihi sola places, nee iam te praeter in urbe 

2 formosa est oculis ulla puella meis. 

3 Atque utinam posses uni mihi bella videril 

4 Displiceas aliis: sic ego tutus ero. 

5 Nil opus invidia est; procul absit gloria vulgi; 

6 qui sapit, in tacito gaudeat ipse sinu. 

7 Sic ego secretis possum bene vivere silvis, 

8 qua nulla humano sit via trita pede. 

9 Tu mihi curarum requies, tu nocte vel atra 

10 lumen, et in soils tu mihi turba locis. 

1 1 Nunc licet e caelo mittatur amica Tibullo, 

12 mittetur frustra, deficietque Venus: 

13 hoc tibi sancta tuae lunonis numina iuro, 

14 quae sola ante alios est mihi magna deos. 

15 Quid facio demens? Heu heu, mea pignora cedo, 

16 luravi stulte: proderat iste timor. 

17 Nunc tu fortis eris, nunc tu me audacius ures: 

18 hoc peperit misero garrula lingua malum. 

19 lam faciam quodcumque voles; tuus usque manebo; 

20 nee fugiam notae servitium dominae. 

21 Sed Veneris sanctae considam vinctus ad aras; 

22 haec notat iniustos supplicibusque favet. 

Fourth Period \ 115 

(Born ABOUT 50 B.C.; ACTIVE FROM 5^-^5 B.C.) ^ V>, 


tes \^ '^' 


A Martyr to Love 

1 Nox media! — et dominae mihi venit epistula nostrae: 

2 Tibure me, missa, iussit adesse, mora. 

3 Quid f aciam ? Obductis committam mene tenebris, 

4 ut timeam audaces in mea membra manus? 

5 At si distulero haec nostro mandata timore, 

6 nocturno fietus saevior hoste mihi. 

7 Peccaram semel, et totum sum postus in annum: 

8 in me mansuetas non habet ilia manus. 

9 Nee tamen est quisquam, sacros qui laedat amantis: 

10 Scironis media sic licet ire via. 

11 Quisquis amator erit, Scythicis licet ambulet oris, 

12 nemo adeo ut noceat barbarus esse volet. 

13 Luna ministrat iter; demonstrant astra salebras; 

14 ipse amor accensas percutit ante faces; 

15 saeva canum rabies morsus avertit hiantis: 

16 huic generi quo vis tempore tut a via est. 

17 Sanguine tam parvo quis enim spargatur amantis 

18 improbus? Exclusis fit comes ipsa Venus. 
i9 Quod si certa meos sequerentur funera casus, 

20 tali mors pretio vel sit emenda mihi: 

21 afferet hue unguenta mihi, sertisque sepulchrum 

22 ornabit custos ad mea bust a sedens. 

23 Di faciant, mea ne terra locet ossa frequenti, 

24 qua facit assiduo tramite vulgus iter: 

25 post mortem tumuli sic infamantur amantum. 

26 Me tegat arborea devia terra coma, 

27 aut humer ignotae cumulis vallatus harenae: 

28 non iuvat in media nomen habere via. 

116 National or Classical Roman Literature 


Remedium Amoris 

Magnum iter ad doctas proficisci cogor Athenas, 
ut me longa gravi solvat amore via. 


3 Omnia sunt temptata mihi, quacumque fugari 

4 possit, at ex omni me premit ipse deus. 

5 Unum erit auxilium : mutatis Cynthia terris 

6 quantum oculis, animo tam procul ibit amor. 

7 Nunc agite, socii, propellite in aequore navem, 

8 remorumque pares ducite sorte vices, 

9 iungiteque extreme felicia lintea malo: 

10 iam liquidum nautis aura secundat iter. 

11 Romanae turres et vos valeatis, amici, 

12 qualiscumque mihi tuque, puella, vale. 

13 lUic vel studiis animum emendare Platonis 

14 incipiam aut hortis, docte Epicure, tuis; 

15 persequar aut studium hnguae, Demosthenis arma, 

16 Hbrorumque tuos, docte Menandre, sales. 

17 Aut spatia annorum aut longa inter valla profundi 

18 lenibunt tacit o vulnera nostra sinu, 

19 seu moriar — fato, non turpi fractus amore; 

20 atque erit ilia mihi mortis honesta dies. 

The Melancholy Lover Wanders in the Woods 

1 Haec certe deserta loca et taciturna querenti, 

2 et vacuum Zephyri possidet aura nemus. 

3 Hic licet occultos proferre impune dolores, 

4 si modo sola queant saxa tenere fidem. 

5 Unde tuos primum repetam, mea Cynthia, f astus ? 

6 Quod mihi das fiendi, Cynthia, principium ? 

7 Qui modo felicis inter numerabar amantis. 

Fourth Period 117 

8 nunc in amore tuo cogor habere not am. 

9 Quid tantum merui ? Quae te mihi crimina mutant ? 

10 An nova tristitiae causa puella tuae? 

11 Sic mihi te referas levis, ut non altera nostro 

12 limine formosos intulit ulla pedes. 

13 Quamvis multa tibi dolor hie mens aspera debet, 

14 non it a saeva tamen venerit ira mea, 

15 ut tibi sim merito semper furor, et tua flendo 

16 lumina deiectis turpia sint lacrimis. 

17 An quia parva damns mutato signa colore, 

18 et non ulla meo clamat in ore fides? 

19 Vos eritis testes, si quos habet arbor amores, 

20 fagus et Arcadio pinus amica deo. 

21 A quotiens teneras resonant mea verba sub umbras, 

22 scribitur et vestris "Cynthia" corticibus! 

23 An tua quod peperit nobis iniuria curas, 

24 quae solum tacitis cognita sunt foribus? 

25 Omnia consuevi timidus perferre super bae 

26 iussa neque arguto facta dolore queri. 

27 Pro quo divini fontes et frigida rupes 

28 et datur inculto tramite dura quies: 

29 et quodcumque meae possunt narrare querelae, 

30 cogor ad argutas dicere solus avis. 

31 Sed qualisqumque es, resonent mihi "Cynthia" silvae, 

32 nee desert a tuo nomine saxa vacent. 

The Winged Boy 

1 Quicumque ille fuit puerum qui pinxit Amorem, 

2 nonne putas miras hunc habuisse manus? 

3 Is primum vidit sine sensu vivere amantes, 

4 et levibus curis magna perire bona. 

5 Idem non frustra ventosas addidit alas, 

6 fecit et humano corde volare deum; 

7 scilicet alterna quoniam iactamur in unda, 

8 nostraque non uUis permanet aura locis. 

9 Et merito hamatis manus est armata sagittis. 

118 National or Classical Roman Literature 

10 et pharetra ex humero Gnosia utroque iacet; 

1 1 ante f erit quoniam, tuti quam cernimus hostem, 

12 nee quisquam ex illo vulnere sanus abit. 

13 In me tela manent, manet et puerilis imago; 

14 sed certe pennas perdidit ille suas, 

15 evolat heu nostro quoniam de pectore nusquam, 

16 assiduusque meo sanguine bella gerit. 

17 Quid tibi iucundum est siccis habitare medullis? 

18 Si pudor est, alio traice tela tua. 

19 Intactos isto satius temptare veneno: 

20 non ego, sed tenuis vapulat umbra mea. 

21 Quam si perdideris, quis erit qui talia cantet 

22 (haec mea musa levis gloria magna tua est), 

23 qui caput et digitos et lumina nigra puellae 

24 et canat ut soleant moUiter ire pedes. 

To His Inconstant Mistress 

1 Risus eram, positis inter convivia mensis, 

2 et de me poterat quilibet esse loquax. 

3 Quinque tibi potui servire fideliter annos: 

4 ungue meam morso saepe querere fidem. 

5 Nil moveor lacrimis: ista sum captus ab arte; 

6 semper ab insidiis, Cynthia, flere soles. 

7 Flebo ego discedens, sed fletum iniuria vincit : 

8 tu bene conveniens non sinis ire iugum. 

9 At te celatis aetas gravis urgeat annis, 

10 et veniat formae ruga sinistra tuae! 

11 Vellere tum cupias albos a stirpe capillos 

12 (ah speculo rugas increpitante tibi); 

13 exclusa inque vicem fastus patiare super bos; 

14 et quae fecisti, facta queraris anus! 

15 Has tibi fatalis cecinit mea pagina diras: 

16 eventum formae disce timere tuae! 

Fourth Period 119 

"Thou, Poor Excommunicate" 

1 Scribant de te alii vel sis ignota licebit : 

2 laudet, qui sterili semina ponit humo. 

3 Omnia, crede mihi, tecum uno munera lecto 

4 auferet extremi funeris atra dies; 

5 et tua transibit contemnens ossa viator, 

6 nee dicet "cinis hie docta puella fuit.'* 



(Born in 43 B.C.; active from 25 B.C.-18 A.D.) ^ 
His Character and Achievements 

Ovid's literary activity falls into three periods. A disciple of ! 

Tibullus and Propertius in his earlier years, he composed senti- ' 

mental and mythological love poetry (the AmoreSj HeroideSj Art \ 
of Love, etc.), inclining to the fanciful rather than the realistic — 

although he painted frankly sensuous pictures with a wealth of j 

detail. His facility as a versifier made it all too easy for him to i 

express what he had not experienced; even his "Corinna" was a 1 

figment of the imagination. ■ 

Having exhausted these lighter themes, Ovid turned in middle 
Ufe to the Metamorphoses (stories from Greek mythology, in 

which the erotic element was still prominent) and the Fasti, or i 
versified Book of Days (pictures of Roman festivals — of which, as \ \N- 

of Christian saints' days, there was no lack). Other composi-^ V^s V | 
tions of diverse character — notably his tragedy, the Medea — \^^^ | 
have perished. ' ""-^ j^ i 

The ambitious works of this middle period were not wholly com- ^^ ^ \ 

pleted when the decree of banishment fell upon Ovid, in 8 A.D. ! 

The real reason for his banishment was never divulged — Ovid j 

insists that it was an indiscretion, not a crime ; the alleged reason — | 

namely, that his Art of Love was subversive of public morals — was j 

merely a pretext, for the objectionable poem had been in circula- ; 

tion aheady ten years or more when Augustus sent Ovid to his I 
lonely exile in the frozen North. The poet devoted his ten-year 

120 National or Classical Roman Literature 

exile to composing melancholy elegies; these were published in 
two collections: the Tristia, and the Epistulae ex Ponto. 




I Live for Love Alone 

1 *'Vive'' deus "posito" si quis mihi dicat "amore," 

2 deprecer: usque adeo dulce puella malum est. 

3 Ut subitus, prope iam prensa tellure, carinam 

4 tangentem portus ventus in alta rapit, 

5 sic me saepe refert incerta Cupidinis aura, 

6 notaque purpureus tela resumit Amor. 

7 Fige, puer! Positis nudus tibi praebeor armis. 

8 Hie tibi sunt vires, hue tua dextra facit; 

9 hue, tamquam iussae, veniunt iam sponte sagittae; 

10 vix illis prae me nota pharetra sua est. 

11 Infelix, tota quicumque quiescere nocte 

12 sustinet, et somnos praemia magna vocat. 

13 Stulte, quid est somnus, gelidae nisi mortis imago? 

14 Longa quiescendi tempora fata dabunt. 

15 Me modo decipiant voces fallacis amicae: 

16 sperando certe gaudia magna feram. 

17 Et modo blanditias dicat, modo iurgia nectat; 

18 saepe fruar domina, saepe repulsus eam. 

19 Quod dubius Mars est, per te, privigne Cupido, est; 

20 et movet exemplo vitricus arma tuo. 

21 Tu levis es multoque tuis ventosior alis, 

22 gaudiaque ambigua dasque negasque fide. 

CoRiNNA^s Slave 

1 Siquis erit, qui turpe putet servire puellae, 

2 illo convincar iudice turpis ego. 

Fourth Period 121 

3 Sim licet infamis, dum me moderatius urat, 

4 quae Paphon et fluctu pulsa Cythera tenet. 

5 Atque utinam dominae miti quoque praeda fuissem. 

6 formosae quoniam praeda futurus eram. 

7 Dat facies animos; facie violenta Corinna est. 

8 Me miserum ! Cur est tam bene nota sibi ? 

9 Scilicet a speculi sumuntur imagine fastus, 

10 nee nisi compositam se prius ilia videt. 

11 Non, tibi si facies nimium dat in omnia regni 

12 (0 facies oculos nata tenere meos!), 

13 coUatum idcirco tibi me contemnere debes: 

14 aptari magnis inferiora licet, 

15 traditur et nymphe mortalis amore Calypso 

16 capta recusantem detinuisse virum. 

17 Tu quoque me, mea lux, in quaslibet accipe leges: 

18 te deceat medio iura dedisse foro. 

19 Non tibi crimen ero, nee quo laetere remoto: 

20 non erit hie nobis infitiandus amor. 

21 Sunt mihi pro magno felicia carmina censu, 

22 et multae per me nomen habere volunt. 

23 Novi aliquam, quae se circumferat esse Corinnam: 

24 ut fiat, quid non ilia dedisse velit ? 

25 Nee, nisi tu, nostris cantabitur uUa libellis: 

26 ingenio causas tu dabis una meo. 




April 13 

[This was the Ides of April — date of the dedication of temples to 
Jupiter Victor {290 B.C.) and Libert as (year unknown)/ 

1 Occupat Apriles Idus cognomine Victor 

2 luppiter: hac illi sunt data templa die. 

122 National or Classical Roman Literature 

3 Hac quoque, ni fallor, populo dignissima nostro 

4 atria Libertas coepit habere sua. 

April 14 
[This was the eighteenth day before the Kalends of May — a 
time of stormy weather; and date of the anniversary of the battle 
of Mutina (43 B.C.).] 

1 Luce secutura tutos pete, navita, portus: 

2 ventus ab occasu grandine mixtus erit. 

3 Sit licet ut fuerit, tamen hac Mutinensia Caesar 

4 grandine militia contudit arma sua. 

April 15 
[This was the seventeenth day before the Kalends of May — 
date of the religious festival of the Fordicidia.] 

1 Tertia post Veneris cum lux surrexerit Idus : 

2 pontifices, forda sacra litate bove. 

3 ''Forda" ferens bos est fecundaque, dicta ferendo: 

4 hinc etiam "fetus" nomen habere putant. 

5 Nunc gravidum pecus est, gravidae quoque semine terrae. 

6 Telluri plenae victima plena datur. 

7 Pars cadit arce lovis: ter denas Curia vaccas 

8 accipit; et largo sparsa cruore madet. 

9 Ast ubi visceribus vitulos rapuere ministri, 

10 sectaque fumosis exta dedere focis, 

1 1 igne cremat vitulos, quae natu maxima, Virgo, 

12 luce PaUs populos purget ut ille cinis. 

13 Rege Numa, fructu non respondente labori, 

14 irrita decepti vota colentis erant. 

15 Nam modo siccus erat gelidis Aquilonibus annus; 

16 nunc ager assidua luxuriabat aqua. 

Fourth Period 123 

17 Saepe Ceres primis dominum fallebat in herbis; 

18 et levis obsesso stabat a vena solo: 

19 et pecus ante diem partus edebat acerbos: 

20 agnaque nascendo saepe necabat ovem. 

21 Silva vetus, nuUaque diu violata securi 

22 stabat, Maenalio sacra relicta deo. 

23 lUe dabat tacitis animo responsa quieto 

24 noctibus. Hie geminas rex Numa mactat oves. 

25 Prima cadit Fauno; leni cadit altera Somno. 

26 Sternitur in duro vellus utrumque solo. 

27 Bis caput intonsum fontana spargitur unda; 

28 bis sua faginea tempora fronde tegit. 

29 Usus abest Veneris : nee fas, animalia mensis 

30 ponere: nee digit is anulus ullus inest. 

31 Veste rudi tectum supra nova vellera corpus 

32 ponit, adorato per sua verba deo. 

33 Interea placidam redimita papavere frontem 

34 Nox venit, et secum somnia nigra trahit. 

35 Faunus adest; oviumque premens pede vellera duro, 

36 edidit a dextro talia verba toro : 

37 " morte bourn tibi, rex, Tellus placanda duarum: 

38 det sacris animas una iuvenca duas." 

39 Excutitur terrore quies; Numa visa revolvit: 

40 et secum ambages caecaque iussa refert. 

41 Expedit errantem nemori gratissima coniunx: 

42 et dixit, *'gravidae posceris exta bovis.^' 

43 Exta bovis gravidae dantur: felicior annus 

44 provenit, et fructum terra pecusque ferunt. 

45 Hanc quondam Cjrtherea diem properantius ire 

46 iussit, et admissos praecipitavit equos; 

47 ut titulum imperii quam primum luce sequent! 

48 Augusto iuveni prospera bella darent. 


124 National or Classical Roman Literature 


Est quaedam flere voluntas — IV, 3, 37. 


His Last Night in Rome 
[Ovid wrote these lines on his way to exile.] 

1 Cum subit illius tristissima noctis imagoV 

2 qua mihi supremum tempus in Urbe f uit, 

3 cum repeto noctem, qua tot mihi cara reliqui, 

4 labitur ex oculis nunc quoque gutta meis. 

5 lam prope lux aderat, qua me discedere Caesar 

6 finibus extremae iusse]['at Ausoniae. 

7 Nee spaffim nee mens fuerat satis apta parandi: ^,j.^-y 

8 torpiierant longa pectora nostra mora. ■ u« '^') 

' \ 

9 Non aliter stupui, quam qui lovis ignibus ictus 

10 ^ vivit et est vitae nescius ipse suae. 

11 Ut tamen hanc animi nuben^ dolor ipse removit 

12 et tandem sehsus convaluere mei, \, \^ v^ 

13 alloquor extremum maestos abiturus amicos, '^^V ^ , i 

14 qui modo de multis unus et alter erant. \^ ^ - \s.^i^ ^'" 

15 Uxor amans flentem flens acrius ipsa tenebat, 

16 imbre per indignas usque cadente genas. 

17 Nata procul Libycis aberat di versa sub oris, 

18 nee poterat fati certior esse mei. 

19 Quocumque adspiceres, luctus gemitusque sonabant, 

20 formaque non taciti funeris intus erat. 

21 Femina virque meo, pueri quoque, funere maerent: 

22 inque domo lacrimas angulus omnis habet. 

23 Si licet exemplis in parvo grandibus uti: 

24 haec facies Troiae, cum caperetur, erat. 

25 lamque quiescebant voces hominumque canumque, 

26 Lunaque nocturnos alta re^ebat equos. 

27 Hanc ego suspiciens et ad hanc Capitolia cernens, 




Fourth Period 125 

28 quae nostro frustra iuncta fuere lari, 

29 "numina vicinis habitantia sedibus" inquam 

30 "iamque oculis numquam templa videnda meis, 

31 dique reliquendi, quos urbs habet alta Quirini: 

32 este salutati tempus in omne mihi!" 

33 lamque morae spatium nox praecipitata negabat, 

34 versaque ab axe suo Parrtiasis Arctos erat. 

35 Quid facerem? Blando patriae retinebar amore: 

36 ultima sed iussae nox erat ilia fugae. 

37 Ah quotiens aliquo dixi properante^ ''quid urges? 

38 Vel quo festinas ire vel unde, vide." 

39 Ah quotiens cert am me sum mentitus habere 

40 horam, propositae quae foret apta viae. 

41 Ter limen tetigi, ter sum revocatus, et ipse 

42 indulgens animo pes mihi tardus erat. 

43 Saepe, "vale" dicto, Tursus sum plura locutus, 

44 et quasi discedens oscula multa dedi. 

45 Saepe eadem mandata dedi meque ipse fefelli, 

46 respiciens oculis pignora cara meis. 

47 Denique ''quid propero? Scythia est, quo mittimur" in- 


48 " Roma relinquenda est. Utraque iusta mora est. ^ 

49 Uxor in aeternum vivo mihi viva negatur, . ^.^i '^-^^^ 

50 et domus et fidae dulcia membra domus; ^T^^^ 

51 quosque ego dilexi fraterno more sodales 

52 (O mihi Thesea pectora iuncta fide!), 

53 dum licet, amplectar: numquam fortasse licebit 

54 amplius. In lucro est, quae datur hora mihi." 

' \\^^ 

55 Dum loquor et flemus, caelo nitidissimiis alto, \ . \j^,_^ vv-"^ ^ ^ 

56 Stella gravis nobis, Lucifer ortus erat. ' '^ f^o 

57 Divider haud aliter quam si mea membra relinquam, 

58 et pars abrumpi cor pore visa suo est. 

59 Tunc vero exoritur clamor gemitusque meorum, 

60 et feriunt maestae pectora nuda manus. 


126 National or Classical Roman Literature 

61 Tunc vero coniunx, umeris abeuntis inhaerens, 

62 miscuit haec lacrimis tristia verba suis: 

63 "non potes avelli: simul hinc, simul ibimus" inquit; ^ 

64 "te sequar et coniunx exulis exul ero. o., > ' ^' 
\ i*'"' 

65 Te iubet a patria discedere Caesaris ira, ^^ 

66 me pietas: pietas haec mihi Caesar erit." ^\ X V-^ ^^ 

67 Talia temptabat, sicut temptaverat ante, 

68 vixque dedit victas utilitate manus. v,^ .^ 
-69 Egredior (sive illud erat sine funere ferri) ^.W^.- V I- U^^ i 

70 squalidu^, immissis hirta per ora comis. 

71 Ilia dolore amens tenebris narratur obortis 

72 semanimis media procubuisse domo. 


\ ^>^-^ 

A Letter to His Wife 

[Sick and despondent, Ovid dictates instructions concerning 
his burial in Rome.] 

1 Haec mea, si casu miraris, epistula quare ^. ^ 

2 alterius digitis scripta sit, aeger eram. \^^^^^ 

3 Aeger in extremis ignoti partibus or bis, v \> 

4 incertusque meae paene salutis eram. ^ 

5 Quem mihi nunc animum, dira regione iacenti, 

6 inter Sauromatas esse Getasque putes ? '^ " 

7 Nec caelum patior, nee aquis adsuevimus istis, 

8 terraque nescioquo non placet ipsa modo. 

9 Non domus apta satis; non hie cibus utilis aegro; 

10 nuUus, ApoUinea qui levet arte malum; 

1 1 non qui soletur, non qui labentia tarde ^ ^ 

12 tempora narrando fallat, aniicus adest. .^^v^^ 

13 Lassus in extremis iaceo populisque locisque, 

14 et subit affecto nunc mihi, quicquid abest. 

15 Omnia cum subeant, vincis tamen omnia, coniunx, 

16 et plus in nostro pectore parte tenes. 

17 Te loquor absentem, te vox mea nominat unam: 





\ V- 

Fourth Period 


18 nulla venit sine te nox mihi, nulla dies. 

19 Ergo ego sum dubius vitae. Tu forsitan istfc 

20 iucundum nostri nescia tempus agis ? 

21 Non agis, affirmo. Liquet hoc, carissima, nobis: 

22 tempus agi sine me non nisi triste tibi. 

23 Sed sine funeribus caput hoc, sine honore sepulchri 

24 indeploratum bar bar a terra teget. ^ 

25 Ecquid, ubi audieris, tota turbabere mente, ^^" 

26 et f eries pavida pectora fida manu ? 

27 Ecquid, in has frustra tendens tua brachia parted, 

28 clamabis miseri nomen inane viri ? 

29 Parce tamen lacerare genas, nee scinde capillos: 

30 non tibi nunc primum, lux mea, raptus ero. ^ 

31 Cum patriam amisi, tunc me periisse putato: 

32 et prior et gravior mors fuit ilia mihi. , 

33 Nunc, si forte potes (sed non potes, optima coniunx), 

34 finitis gaude tot mihi morte malis: 

35 quod potes, extenua forti mala corde ferendo, 

36 ad quae iam pridem non rude pectus habes. 









37 Ossa tamen facito parva refer antur in urna 

38 (sic ego non etiam mortuus exul ero), 

39 atque ea cum foliis et amomi pulvere misce, 

40 inque suburbano condita pone solo; 

41 quosque legat versus oculo pro per ante viator, 

42 grandibus in tituli marmore caed^ notis: 

43 *'Hic ego qui iaceo, tenerorum liisor amorum, 

44 ingenio peril, Naso poeta, meo; 

45 at tibi, qui transis, ne sit grave, quisquis amasti, 

46 dicere: Nasonis molliter ossa cubent." 

47 Hoc satis in titulo est; etenim maiora libelli 

48 et diuturna magis sunt monumenta mihi; 

49 quos ego confido, quamvis nocuere, daturos 

\ vv-'- 

128 National or Classical Roman Literature 

50 nomen et auctori tempora longa suo. 

51 Tu tamen exstincto feralia munera semper 

52 deque tuis lacrimis umida serta dato. 

53 Quamvis in cineres corpus miitaverit ignis, 

54 sentiet officium maesta favilla pium. 

55 Scribere plura libet, sed vox mihi fessa loquendo ^^.^ 

56 diet andi vires siccaque lingua negat. *^' \^^'^ 

57 Accipe supremo dictum mihi forsitan ore, 

58 (quod, tibi qui mittit, non habet ipse) — ''VALE." 


The Haedships and Dangers of Life Amid Savages 
IN THE Frozen North 

[Southern peoples have a horror of cold — ^the worst part of" 
Dante's Hell was the frozen circle.] , , \^ ^" 

1 Siquis adhuc istic meminit Nasonis adempti, >v ^ 

' ^^'^ 

2 me sciat in media vivere barbaria. ^" 

3 Sauromatae cingunt, fera gens, Bessique Getaeque: 

4 quam non ingenio nomina digna meo! 


5 Nix iacet, et iactam ne sol pluviaeque resolvant, 

6 indurat Boreas perpetuamque facit. 

7 Ergo ubi delicuit nondum prior, altera venit, 

8 et solet in multis bima manere locis; 

9 tantaque commoti vis est Aquilonis, ut altas 

10 aequet humo turres tectaque rapta ferat. 

1 1 Pellibus et sutis arcent mala f rigora bracis, 

12 oraque de toto corpore sola patent. 

13 Saepe sonant moti glacie pendente capilli, 

14 et nitet inducto Candida barba gelu; 

15 nudaque consistunt, formam servantia testae, 

16 vina, nee hausta meri, sed data frusta bibunt, 

17 Quid loquar, ut vincti concrescant frigore rivi, 

Fourth Period 129 

18 deque lacu fragiles effodiantur aquae. 

19 Caeruleos ventis latices durantibus, Hister 

20 congelat et tectis in mare serpit aquis; 

21 quaque rates ierant, pedibus nunc itur, et undas 

22 frigore concretas ungula pulsat equi; 

23 perque novos pontes, subter labentibus undis, 

24 ducunt Sarmatici barbara plaustra boves. 

25 Vix equidem credar, sed, cum sint praemia falsi 

26 nulla, ratam debet testis habere fidem: 

27 vidimus ingentem glacie consistere pontum, 

28 lubricaque immotas testa premebat aquas. 

29 Nee vidisse sat est : durum calcavimus aequor, 

30 undaque non udo sub pede summa fuit. 

31 Protinus, aequato siccis Aquilonibus Histro, 

32 invehitur celeri barbarus hostis equo. 

33 Hostis, equo pollens longeque volante sagitta, 

34 vicinam late depopulatur humum. 

35 Diffugiunt alii, nullisque tuentibus agros, 

36 incustoditae diripiuntur opes, 

37 ruris opes parvae, pecus et stridentia plaustra, 

38 et quas divitias incola pauper habet. 

39 Pars agitur vinctis post tergum capta lacertis, 

40 respiciens frustra rura laremque suum; 

41 pars cadit hamatis misere confixa sagittis, 

42 nam volucri ferro tinctile virus inest. 

43 Quae nequeunt secum ferre aut abducere, perdunt; 

44 et cremat insontes hostica flamma casas. 

45 Tunc quoque, cum pax est, trepidant formidine belli, 

46 nee quisquam presso vomere sulcat humum. 

47 Aspiceres nudos sine fronde, sine arbore, campos : 

48 heu loca feUci non adeunda viro! 

49 Ergo tam late pateat cum maximus orbis, 

50 haec est in poenam terra reperta meam ! 

130 National or Classical Roman Literature 


\ Poetry — His Only Solace 

1 Vivere quam miserum est inter Bessosque Getasque 

2 ilium, qui populi semper in ore f uit ! 



3 Aspera militiae iuvenis certamina fugi, 
\^.^'\ 4 nec nisi lusura movimus arma manu; 

^ \ 5 nunc senior gladioque latus scutoque sinistram, ^ ,^^ - 

^_j& ^ canitiem galeae subicioque meae. ^ 1^ 

7 Nam dedit e specula custos ubi signa tumultus 

8 induimus trepida pfotinus arma manu. 

9 Hostis, habens arcus imbutaque tela, venenis, 

10 saevus anhelanti moenia lustrat equo; 

11 utque rapax pecudem, quae se non texit ovili, ^ _m^^ 

12 per sata per silvas fertque trahitque lupus, z" ^ 

13 sic, siquem nondum portarum saepe receptum 

14 barbarus in campis repperit hostis, habet: 

15 aut sequitur captus coniectaque vincula cbllo 

16 accipit, aut telo virus habente perit. 

17 Hie ego sollicitae lateo novus incola sedis: 

18 heu nimium fati tempora longa mei! 

19 Et tamen ad numeros antiquaque sacra reverti 

20 sustinet in tantis hospita Musa malis. 

21 Sed neque cui recitem quisquam est mea carmina, nec qui 

22 auribus accipiat verba Latina suis. 

23 Ipse mihi (quid enim faciam ?) scriboque legoque. 

24 An mea Sauromatae scripta Getaeque legent ? 

25 Saepe etiam lacrimae m^ sunt scribente profusae, 

26 umidaque est fletu littera facta meo, 

27 corque vetusta meum, tamquam nova, vulnera novit, 

28 inque sinum maestae labitur imber aquae. ^ 

29 Cum, vice mutata, qui sim fuerimque, recorder, 

30 et, tulerit quo me casus et iinde, subit, 

31 saepe manus demens, studiis irata sibique, 

32 misit in arsuros carmina nostra focos. , 

33 Atque, ea de multis quoniam non multa supersunt. 

Fourth Period 131 

34 cum venia facito, quisquis es, ista legas. I 


[5] i 
Death Will Soon Bring Release 

1 Credite, deficio; nostroque a corpore quantum 

2 auguror, accedunt tempora parva malis. 

3 Nam neque sunt vires, nee qui color esse solebat : , ; 

4 vix habeo tenuem, quae tegat ossa, cutem. H^,^ ^"^^ I 
6 Corpore sed mens est aegro magis aegra, malique . ..r i*-'"^' . ^^ 

6 in circumspectu stat sine fine sui. - „.>^'~" ^ ^<.^^-~^ 

7 Urbis abest facies; absunt (mea cura) sodales; -^^ \ 

8 et, qua nulla mihi carior, uxor abest. 

9 Vulgus adest Scythicum bracataque turba Getarum. 

10 Sic me quae video, non videoque, movent. I 

1 1 Una tamen spes est, quae me soletur in istis : j 

12 haec fore morte mea non diuturna mala, ■ 

[6] i 

An Apology for His Mournful Utterances 

1 Hunc quoque de Getico, nostri studiose, libellum 

2 litore praemissis quattuor adde meis. 

3 Hie quoque talis erit, qualis fortuna poetae: 

4 invenies toto carmine dulce nihil. 
6 Flebilis ut noster status est, ita flebile carmen, 
6 materiae scripto conveniente suae. 

7 "Quis tibi, Naso, modus lacrimosi carminis?" inquis. I 

8 Idem, fortunae qui modus huius erit. ; 

9 "At poteras" inquis '* melius mala ferre silendo 

10 et tacitus casus dissimulare tuos.'* 

11 Exigis ut nulli gemitus tormenta sequantur, 

12 acceptoque gravi vulnere flere vetas ? ^^ 
\ \ v-^v- ^•-^"") ; 

13 Strangulat inclusus dolor atque exaestuat intus, 


132 National or Classical Roman Literature 

14 cogitur et vires multiplicare suas. i^^"^ 

15 Da veniam potius, vel totos toUe libellos, 

16 sic mihi quod prodest si tibi, lector, obest. 

[7] \ 

The Bitterness of a Poet's Exile 

1 Quam legis, ex ilia tibi venit ^pistula terra, 

2 latus ubi aequoreis aiiditur Hister aquis. ^^-^--^ 

3 Scilicet, ut semper, quid agam, carissime, quaeris, 

4 qiiamvis hoc vel me scire tacente potes. - * ' '^ ^ 

5 Sum miser — haec brevis est nostrorum ^umma malorum, 

6 quisquis et offenso Caesare vivit, erit. 

7 Tiiroa Tomitanae quae sit regionis, et inter 

8 quos habitem mores, discere cura tibi est? 

9 Sive locum specto, locus est inarriabilis, et ijub '^^ 

10 esse nihil toto tristius orbe potest; A^V""^ 

1 1 sive homines, vix sunt homines hoc nomine digni, ^^ 

12 quamque lupi saevae plus feritatis habent. 

13 Non metuunt leges, sed cedit viribus ae^uum, 

14 victaque pugnaci iura sub ense ia'cent. 

15 Pellibus et laxis arcent mala frigora bracis, 

16 praque sunt longis horrida tecta comis. 

17 In paucis remanent Graecae vestigia linguae, 

18 haec quoque iam Getico barbara facta sonb? ^_ .^ 

19 Unus in hoc nemo est populo, qui forte Latine 

20 quaelibet e medio reddere' verba queat. 

21 Ille ego Romanus vates (ignoscite, Musae) 

22 Sarmatico cogor plurima more loqui. 

23 En pudet et fateor: iam desuetudine longa 

24 vix subeunt ipsi verba Latina mihi. 

25 Nee dubito quin sint et in hoc non pauca libello 

26 barbara: non hominis culpa, sed ista loci. 


27 Carminibus quaero miserarum oblivia rerum: 

28 praemia si studio consequar ista, sat est. 

Fourth Period 133 

Epistu/ae Ex Ponto 


Friendship's Bond — A Reminder of Happier Days 

1 Accipe colloquium gelido Nasonis ab Histro, 

2 Attice, iudicio non dubitande meo. 

3 Ecquid adhuc remanes memor infelicis amici, 

4 deserit an partis languida cura suas ? 

5 Non ita di mihi sunt tristes, ut credere possim 

6 fasque putem iam te non meminisse mei. 

7 Ante oculos nostros posita est tua semper imago, 

8 et videor vultus mente videre tuos. 

9 Seria multa mihi tecum coUata recordor, \^ 

10 nee data iucundis tempora pauca iocis. 

1 1 Nos f ora viderunt pariter, nos porticus omnis, , ^vr«-V ' ^ 

12 nos via, nos iunctis curva theatra Iocis. ^ 

13 Denique tantus amor nobis, carissime, semper, 

14 quantus in Aeacide Nestorideque fuit. 

15 Non ego, si biberes securae pocula Lethes, 

16 excidere haec credam pectore posse tuo. 

A Difficult Letter of Condolence 

[This was written to a friend in far-off Rome, who had lost his 
wife. It had taken many months for the news to reach Ovid.] 

1 Gallio, crimen erit vix excusabile nobis, 

2 carmine te nomen non habuisse meo. 

3 Tu quoque enim, memini, caelesti cuspide facta, 

4 . fovisti lacrimis vulnera nostra tuis. 

5 At que utinam, rapti iactura laesus amici, 

6 sensisses ultra, quod quererere, nihil! 

7 Non ita dis placuit, qui te spoliare pudica 

8 coniuge crudeles non habuere nefas. 

9 Nuntia nam luctus mihi nuper epistula venit, 
10 lectaque cum lacrimis sunt tua damna meis; 

134 National or Classical Roman Literature 

11 sed neque solari prudentem stultior ausim 

12 verbaque doctorum nota referre tibi; 

13 finitumque tuum, si non ratione, dolorem 

14 ipsa iam pridem suspicor esse mora. 

15 Dum tua pervenit, dum littera nostra recurrens 

16 tot maria ac terras permeat, annus abit. 

17 Temporis officium est solacia dicere certi, 

18 dum dolor in cursu est et petit aeger opem. 

19 At cum longa dies sedavit vulnera mentis, 

20 intempestive qui movet ilia, novat. 

21 Adde quod (atque utinam verum tibi venerit omen!) 

22 coniugio felix iam potes esse novo. 

[3] .^ 

Resignation ^^^ 

1 Verba mihi desunt, eadem tam saepe roganti, 

2 iamque pudet vanas fine carere preces. ^> 

3 Taedia consimili fieri de carmine vobis, 

4 quidque petam cunctos edidicisse reor; 

5 nostraque quid portet iam nostis epistula, quamvis 

6 cera sit a vinclis non labefacta meis. 

7 Ergo mutetur scripti sententia nostri, 

8 ne totiens contra, quam rapit amnis, eam. 

9 Quod bene de vobis speravi, ignoscite, amici: 

10 talia peccandi iam mihi finis erit. 

11 Nee gravis uxori dicar, quae scilicet in me 

12 quam proba tam timida est experiensque parum., 

13 Hoc quoque, Naso, feres; etenim peiora tulisti; 

14 iam tibi sentiri sarcina nulla potest. 

15 Venimus in Geticos fines: moriamur in iUis, 

16 Parcaque ad extremum, qua mea coepit, eat. 

17 Curando fieri quaedam maiora videmus 

18 vulnera, quae melius non tetigiss€5 fuit. 

19 Mitius ille per it, subita qui mergitur unda 

20 quam sua qui tumidis brachia lassat aquis. 


(14-96 A.D.) 

The Period of the Growth of Internationalism 
AND THE Decline of Classicism 

The Fifth Period 

The history of Roman literature may be viewed as a conflict 
between two ideals: Greek freedom of thought and Roman 
reverence for authority. Naturally legalistic, the Romans 
tended toward a conservatism with which Greek freedom of 
thought was always in conflict. The classic Greek ideal reached 
its zenith on Roman soil in the third period, the Ciceronian era. 
In the Augustan age republican ideals gave way to paternalism, 
which meant that freedom of speech was diplomatically and 
tactfully curbed — for it was the policy of Augustus to retain the 
illusion of democracy. 

The position of Augustus was to a large extent unconstitutional, 
and from this developed the chief weaknesses of the "principate." 
Nominally Rome was still a republic; all the republican officials 
continued to be elected and go through the motions of holding 
office, but the functions of office were quietly exercised by the 
prince. Consequently there was- no established method of suc- 
cession to the throne, no legally constituted self-perpetuating 
monarchy. Under these circumstances, succession to the prin- 
cipate could be controlled only by intrigue or civil war. For 
almost a century, therefore, Roman government was unstable. 
The paternalism of Augustus quickly gave way to the tyranny of 
Tiberius and his successors, under whom freedom of thought was 
precarious. Literature could not be patterned after classical 
Greek models or, if it were, had to be rendered innocuous. 

Lack of unity therefore marks this period of Roman literature. 
The output is intermittent, depending upon the whim of the 
reigning prince, and falls into two categories: (1) traditional 
Greco-Roman forms — now necessarily devoid of content ; and (2) 
various new forms — which, though differing from each other 
externally, share the principle of depicting the individual's inner 
life. Here the danger of conflict with the state was reduced to a 
minimum. Thus the way was open for the satirist, the novelist, 


138 National or Classical Roman Literature 

and the ethical philosopher. Fiction and religion — neither of 
which had dominated the classical Greek tradition — began to 
come to the fore. 


(Dates unknown.) 

Phaedrus, a Greek by birth and a freedman of Augustus, wrote 
Aesopic fables in the reign of Tiberius. 



The Frog's Complaint 

1 Vicini furis celebres vidit nuptias 

2 Aesopus, et continuo narrare incipit: 

3 Uxorem quondam Sol cum vellet ducere, 

4 clamorem ranae sustulerunt ad sidera. 

5 Convicio permotus, quaerit luppiter 

6 causam querelae. Quaedam tum stagni incola: 

7 ''nunc" inquit "omnes unus exurit lacus, 

8 cogitque miseras arida sede emori. 

9 Quidnam futurum est, si crearit Uberos?" 

The Wolf and the Dog 

1 Quam dulcis sit libertas, breviter proloquar. 

2 Cani perpasto macie confectus lupus 

3 forte occucurrit. Dein salutatum invicem 

4 ut restiterunt: "unde sic, quaeso, nites? 

5 aut quo cibo fecisti tantum corporis? 

6 Ego, qui sum longe fortior, pereo fame." 

7 Canis simpliciter: ''eadem est condicio tibi, 

8 praestare domino si par officium potes." 

9 ''Quod?" inquit ille. "Gustos ut sis liminis; 

10 a furibus tuearis et noctu domum." 

11 "Ego vero sum paratus: nunc patior nives 

12 imbresque, in silvis asperam vitam trahens. 

Fifth Period 139 

13 Quanto est facilius mihi sub tecto vivere, 

14 et otiosum largo satiari cibo!" 

15 *'Veni ergo mecum." Dum procedunt, aspicit 

16 lupus a catena coUum detritum cani: 

17 *' Unde hoc, amice ? " " Nihil est." " Die, quaeso, tamen.'* 

18 ''Quia videor acer, alligant me interdiu, 

19 luce ut quiescam, et vigilem, nox cum venerit: 

20 crepusculo solutus, qua visum est, vagor. 

21 Adfertur ultro panis; de mensa sua 

22 dat ossa dominus; frusta iactant familia 

23 et quod fastidit quisque pulmentarium. 

24 Sic sine labore venter impletur meus." 

25 ''Age, abire si quo est animus, est licentia?'' 

26 ''Non plane est" inquit. 'Truere, quae laudas, canis: 

27 regnare nolo, liber ut non sim mihi." 

The Frog and the Ox 

1 Inops, potentem dum vult imitari, perit. 

2 In prato quondam rana conspexit bovem, 

3 et tacta invidia tantae magnitudinis, 

4 rugosam infiavit pellem: tum natos suos 

5 interrogavit, an bove esset latior. 

6 Illi negarunt. Rursus intendit cutem 

7 maiore nisu, et simili quaesivit modo, 

8 quis maior esset. Illi dixerunt bovem. 

9 Novissime indignata, dum vult validius 
10 inflare sese, rupto iacuit corpore. 

(Born about the beginning of the Christian era; 


His Life and Works 

L. Annaeus Seneca was the most famous member of a gifted 
family of Spanish provincials from Corduba. His father, Seneca 
the Elder, wrote a distinguished book on rhetoric; and his nephew 


140 National or Classical Roman Literature 

was the poet Lucan. Seneca entered public life, and his political 
career was characteristic of the era of autocracy in which he lived. 
By virtue of personal ability and influential family connections, 
he gained the quaestorship under Caligula. Under Claudius — 
or rather Messalina, for Claudius was ruled by his wives — Seneca 
found himself a member of the wrong court faction and spent 
eight years cooling his heels in banishment, on the island of 
Corsica. He was reinstated when Agrippina, second wife of 
Claudius, became the power behind the throne. More important 
than the public offices he now held was Seneca's unofficial position 
as tutor to the young prince Nero, just as Aristotle had been 
tutor to Alexander the Great. On the death of Claudius and 
accession to the throne of the immature Nero, Seneca became 
*' prime minister'' and virtual ruler of the Roman Empire — ^thus 
the Platonic dream of a philosopher-king was realized! Seneca 
the philosopher made good use of his first five years in power, 
during which time he was practically unhampered; through his 
enlightened policy and humanitarian legislation, these years came 
to be known as the Quinquennium Neronis, a golden age. By a 
strange*freak of history, it was Nero who reaped the reward of 
Seneca's wise administration; distant oriental provinces of the 
Empire regarded Nero as a savior of humanity, and circulated 
legends after his death that he would some day return to bless his 
people ! But in order to retain his power as long as possible — ^f or 
he must have known that it was foredoomed — , Seneca connived 
at Nero's crimes and vices. For three more years (after Nero had 
murdered his mother) Seneca hung on; then, unable longer to 
resist the rising tide of evil, he resigned, living in retirement 
another three years before Nero condemned him to death for 
alleged complicity in a conspiracy. 

Throughout his career Seneca remained the chief Roman 
apostle and spokesman of the Stoic religion — a professed moralist, 
who wrote voluminously on ethics and upheld the principles of the 
saintly and religious life. Superficially at least, he may be com- 
pared with some great modern churchmen who have held the reins 
of secular power — with Cardinal Wolsey, Cardinal Richelieu, or 
any of the thousands of bishops in the Middle Ages who combined 

Fifth Period 141 

the profession of rehgion with the exercise of poHtical power. It 
is hard for us nowadays to credit this alliance of church and 
state with moral sincerity. Certainly its exponents have never 
achieved miracles; they have abided by their ideals of moral 
conduct as far as circumstances allowed — beyond that point they 
have done their duty. Seneca was only the first of a long line of 
men consecrated to the religious life who compromised with the 

Seneca's literary works fall into four groups: (1) the tragedies, 
written during his exile — stilted closet dramas on traditional 
Greek themes;^ (2) the moral essays— comprising a number 
of longer treatises {de Ira, de Vita Beata, de Brevitate Vitae, etc.) 
and an extensive collection of Epistles to Lucilius (really brief 
essays on a variety of ethical and philosophical topics, though 
occasionally illumined in true epistolary style with unforgetable 
pictures of contemporary life) ; (3) the Quaestiones Naturales, or 
Essays on Natural History — ^belonging in spirit with the moral 
essays, because of their uncritical, medieval attitude toward the 
facts of nature (characteristic of all Roman "scientific" works); 
and (4) the Ludus de Morte Claudii^ — a unique work of "low- 
brow" humor, which Seneca himself would never have dreamed of 
regarding as a work of "literature" and with which he amused the 
court of Agrippina after the death of Claudius. 

All in all, the remarkable thing about Seneca is his modernity. 
He was ahead of his time in many ways, so that in passing from 
the works of the Augustan age to his, we seem suddenly to be in 
another world — ^that of medieval and modern Europe. Seneca 
is a cosmopolitan; his ethical principles are identical with Christ- 
ian ideals in so many respects that it is no wonder he was long 
reputed to have had first-hand knowledge of Christian doctrine — 
which led, in the early Middle Ages, to the pious forgery of a 
series of Latin letters between him and St. Paul. Neither the 

1 The nineteenth-century decline of Seneca's fame as a writer of tragedy, 
in contrast to the high repute in which he was held by the " classic " 
dramatists of the XVII and XVIII centuries in France and England, marks 
one of the greatest reversals in literary taste in the Western world. 

2 This is also called the Apo-colocynto-sis Claudii, or Pumpkinification of 
Claudius — & parody on apo-theo-sis, or deification. 

142 National or Classical Roman Literature 

Church Fathers nor the medieval moraHsts could bring themselves 
to look upon him as a wholly unregenerate pagan; they made ex- 
tensive and unfeigned use of his works. Lactantius says (in the 
fourth century): "He who would more fully understand why 
God suffers the wicked and unrighteous to attain power and 
wealth in this world, and allows the righteous to succumb to 
misery and poverty, should read Seneca's On Divine Providence; 
for that author displays not the folly of worldly ignorance, but a 
wisdom that is almost divine." 

Epis^/es to Lucilius 

It has taken many centuries to give the world a surfeit of 
moralizing and sermonizing. Stoicism prepared the way for 
Christianity, but if Seneca's essays and treatises are inclined to 
seem trite, it is because — in the course of almost 2000 years — 
Christianity has administered an overdose of preaching. Like 
the other Stoic moralists, Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius, Seneca 
is best taken piecemeal; his essays are not to be hastily devoured, 
but quietly ruminated. 

Seneca's prose style seems no less modern than his thoughts, 
and the critics of his own day found in it more to blame than to 
praise. His short nervous sentences and epigrammatic expres- 
sions serve as prototype for such essayists as Montaigne ; there is 
in them no trace of the stately periodic style of the Ciceronian 
era. Seneca's contemporaries were offended also by his willing- 
ness to employ, together with the accepted "literary" language of 
the day, words and phrases from the "vulgar" Latin of the 


^ ' Man's Spiritual Nature Is Divine 

si^'^ 1 Seneca Lucilio suo salutem. Facis rem optimam et 

2 tibi salutarem, si, ut scribis, perseveras ire ad bonam men- 

3 tem, quam stultum est optare, cum possis a te inpetrare. 

4 Non sunt ad caelum elevandae manus nee exorandus 

, /'"'^ Fifth Period 143 

6 aedituus, ut nos ad aurem simulacri, quasi magis exaudiri K 

6 possimus, admittat : prope est a te deus, tecum est, intus est. 

7 Ita dico, Lucili : sacer intra nos spiritus sedet, malorum bo- 

8 norumque nostrorum observator et custos. Hie prout a 

9 nobis tractatus est, ita nos ipse tractat. Bonus vero vir 

10 sine deo nemo est: an potest aliquis supra fortunam nisi 

11 ab illo adiutus exsurgere? Ille dat consilia magnifica et 

12 erecta. In unoquoque virorum bonorum 

13 " quis deus incertum est, habitat deus/' 

14 Si tibi occurrerit vetustis arbor ibus et solitam altitudinem 

15 egressis frequens lucus et conspectum caeli ramorum 

16 aliorum alios protegentium umbra submovens: ilia pro- 

17 ceritas silvae et secretum loci et admiratio umbrae in 

18 aperto tam densae at que continuae fidem tibi numinis 

19 facit. Et si quis specus saxis penitus exesis montem sus- 

20 penderit, non manu factus, sed naturalibus causis in 

21 t ant am laxitatem excavatus, animum tuum quadam re- 

22 ligionis suspicione percutiet. Magnorum fluminum capita 

23 veneramur; subita ex abdito vasti amnis eruptio aras ha- 

24 bet; coluntur aquarum calentium fontes, et stagna quae- 

25 dam vel opacitas vel immensa altitudo sacra vit: si homi- 

26 nem videris inter r it um periculis, int actum cupiditatibus, 

27 inter adversa felicem, in mediis tempestatibus placidum, 

28 ex superiore loco homines videntem, ex aequo deos, non 

29 subibit te eius veneratio? Non dices: ista res maior est 

30 altiorque quam ut credi similis huic, in quo est, corpus- 

31 culo possit? Vis isto divina descendit. Animum ex- 

32 cellentem, moderatum, omnia tamquam minora transeun- 

33 tem, quicquid timemus optamusque ridentem, caelestis 

34 potentia agitat. Non potest res tanta sine adminiculo nu- 

35 minis stare: itaque maiore sui parte illic est, unde de- 

36 scendit. Quemadmodum radii solis contingunt quidem 

37 terram, sed ibi sunt, unde mittuntur: sic animus magnus 

38 ac sacer et in hoc demissus, ut propius quidem divina 

39 nossemus, conversatur quidem nobiscum, sed haeret origini 

40 suae : illinc pendet, illtic spectat ac nititur, nostris tamquam 

41 melior interest. 

144 National or Classical Roman Literature 

42 Quis est ergo hie animus? Qui nuUo bono nisi suo nitet. 

43 Quid enim est stultius quam in homine aliena laudare? 

44 Quid eo dementius, qui ea miratur, quae ad alium transferri 

45 protinus possunt? Non faciunt meliorem equum aurei 

46 freni. Aliter leo aurata iuba mittitur (dum contractatur et 

47 ad patient iam recipiendi ornamenti cogitur fatigatus), aliter 

48 incultus, integri spiritus: hie scilicet inpetu acer, qualem 

49 ilium natura esse voluit, specioSus ex horrido, cuius hie 

50 decor est, non sine timore adspici, praefertur illi languido et 
^.v^^^ 51 bracteato. | 

'"^ \ 52 Nemo gloriari nisi suo debet. Vitem laudamus, si fructu 

(S^ ^^^ 53 palmites onerat, si ipsa pondere ad terram eorum, quae 

^ A 54 tulit, adminicula deducit: num quis huic illam praeferret 

55 vitem, cui aureae uvae, aurea foUa dependent? Propria 

56 virtus est in vite fertilitas: in homine^..quoque id laudan- 

57 dum est, quod ipsius est. Familiam formosam habet ^t 

58 domum pulchram, multum serit, multum fenerat: nihil 

59 horum in ipso est, sed circa ipsum. Lauda in ipso, quod 

60 nee eripi potest nee dari, quod proprium hominis est. 
Quaeris quid sit ? Animus et ratio in animo perfepta. Ra- 
tionale enim animal est homo.^ Coiisummatur itaque eius 
bonum, si id inplevit, cui nascitur. Quid est autem, quod 
ab illo ratio haec exigat? Rem facillimam, secundum na- 
turam suam vivere. Sed hanc difficilem facit communis 
insania : in vitia alter alterum trudimus. Quomodo autem 

67 revocari ad salutem possunt, quos nemo retinet, populus 

68 impellit ? Vale. 

The Vanity of Human Prayers and Desires 
[How fond and foolish are parents* prayers in our behalf.] 

1 Seneca Lucilio suo salutem. Queror, litigo, irascor. 

2 Etiamnunc optas, quod tibi optavit nutrix tua aut paeda- 

3 gogus aut mater? Nondum intellegis, quantum mah 

4 optaverint? O quam inimica nobis sunt vota nostrorum! 

5 Eo quidem inimiciora, quo cessere felicius. Iam non ad- 













Fifth Period 145 

6 miror, si omnia nos a prima pueritia mala sequuntur: inter 

7 exsecrationes parentum crevimus. Exaudiant di quoque 

8 nostram pro nobis vocem gratuitam. 

[Our only desire is to pamper ourselves.] 

9 Quousque poscemus aliquid deos ita quasi nondum 
10 ipsi alere nos possimus? Quamdiu sationibus implebimus 
U magnarum urbium campos? Quamdiu nobis populus 

12 metet? Quamdiu unius mensae instrumentum multa 

13 navigia et quidem non ex uno mari subvehent? Taurus 

14 paucissimorum iugerum pascuo impletur. Una silva ele- 

15 phantis pluribus sufficit: homo et terra et mari pascitur. 

16 Quid ergo? Tam insatiabilem nobis natura alvum dedit 

17 (cum tam modica corpora dedisset), ut vastissimorum eda- 

18 cissimorumque animalium aviditatem vinceremus? Mini- 

19 me. Quantulum est enim, quod naturae datur? Parvo 

20 ilia dimittitur. Non fames nobis ventris nostri magno 

21 constat, sed ambitio. Hos itaque, ut ait Sallustius, *^ ventri 

22 oboedientes" animalium loco numeremus, non hominum: 

23 quosdam vero ne animalium quidem, sed mortuorum. 

24 Vivit is, qui multis usui est, vivit is, qui se utitur: qui vero 

25 latitant et torpent, sic in domo sunt, quomodo in conditivo. 

26 Horum licet in limine ipso nomen marmori inscribas: 

27 mortem suam antecesserunt. Vale. 

On Being Reconciled With Death 

1 Seneca Lucilio sue salutem. Desinamus, quod volui- 

2 mus, velle. Ego certe id ago: senex ea desii velle, quae puer 

3 volui. In hoc unum eunt dies, in hoc noctes, hoc opus 

4 meum est, haec cogitatio: imponere veteribus malis finem. 

5 Id ago, ut mihi instar totius vitae dies sit. Nee mehercules 

6 tamquam ultimum rapio, sed sic ilium adspicio, tamquam 

7 esse vel ultimus possit. Hoc animo tibi hanc epistulam 

8 scribo, tamquam me cum maxime scribentem mors evo- 

9 catura sit. Paratus exire sum et ideo fruar vita, quia 
10 quam diu futurum hoc sit, non nimis pendeo. Ante 

146 National or Classical Roman Literature 

11 senectutem curavi, ut bene viverem, in senectute, ut 

12 bene moriar: bene autem mori est libenter mori. Da ope- 

13 ram, ne quid umquam invitus facias. Quicquid necesse 

14 futurum est repugnanti, volenti necessitas non est. It a 

15 dico: qui imperia libens excipit, partem acerbissimam servi- 
le tutis effugit, facere quod nolit. Non qui iussus aliquid 

17 facit, miser est, sed qui invitus facit. Itaque sic animum 

18 conponamus, ut quicquid res exiget, id velimus: et imprimis 

19 finem nostri sine tristitia cogitemus. Ante ad mortem 

20 quam ad vitam praeparandi sumus. Satis instructa vita 

21 est, sed nos in instrumenta eius avidi sumus: deesse aliquid 

22 nobis videtur et semper videbitur. Ut satis vixerimus, 

23 nee anni nee dies faciunt, sed animus. Vixi, Lucili 

24 carissime, quantum satis erat: mortem plenus exspecto. 

25 Vale. 


Worldly Occupations Are No Bar to the Spiritual Life 

1 Seneca Lucilio suo salutem. Mentiuntur, qui sibi ob- 

2 stare ad studia liberalia turbam negotiorum videri volunt: 

3 simulant occupationes et augent et ipsi se occupant. 
^^4 Vaco, Lucili, vaco, et ubicumque sum, ibi mens sum. 

V_,'<-'^ 5 Rebus enim me non trado, sed commodo, nee consector 

y .^ 6 perdendi temporis causas. Et quocumque constiti loco, 

7 ibi cogitationes meas tracto et aliquid in animo salutare 

8 converso. Cum me amicis dedi, non tamen mihi abduco; 

9 nee cum illis moror, quibus me tempus aliquod congrega- 

10 vit aut causa ex officio nata civili, sed cum optimo quo- 

11 que sum: ad illos, in quocumque loco, in quocumque 

12 seculo fuerunt, animum meum mitto. Demetrium, viro- 

13 rum optimum, mecum circumfero, et relictis conchyliatis 

14 cum illo seminudo loquor, ilium admiror. Quidni admirer ? 

15 Vidi nihil ei deesse. Contemnere aliquis omnia potest, 

16 omnia habere nemo potest. Brevissima ad divitias per 
-17 contemptum divitiarum via est. Demetrius autem noster 

/ 18 sic vivit, non tamquam contempserit omnia, sed tamquam 
j 19 aUis habenda permiserit. Vale. 

\ V 

Fifth Period 147 

Man's Greatest Peril Is His Fellow Man 

1 Seneca Lucilio suo salutem. Quid ista circumspicis, 

2 quae tibi possunt fortasse evenire, sed possunt et non 

3 evenire? Incendium dico, ruinam, alia, quae nobis inci- 

4 dunt, non insidiantur: ilia potius vide, ilia devita, quae nos 

5 observant, quae captant. Rariores sunt casus, etiamsi 

6 graves, naufragium facere, vehiculo everti: ab homine 

7 homini cotidianum periculum. Ad versus hoc te expedi; hoc 

8 intentis oculis intuere. Nullum est malum frequentius, nul- 

9 lum pertinacius, nullum blandius. Tempestas minatur, 

10 antequam surgat; crepant aedificia, antequam corruant; 

11 praenuntiat fumus incendium: subita est ex homine perni- 

12 cies, et eo diligentius tegitur, quo propius accedit. Erras, 

13 si istorum tibi, qui occurrunt, voltibus credis: hominum effi- 

14 gies habent, animos ferarum, nisi quod illarum perniciosior 

15 est primus incursus: quos transiere, non quaerunt. Num- 

16 quam enim illas ad nocendum nisi necessitas incitat. 

17 Hae aut fame aut timore coguntur ad pugnam: homini 

18 perdere hominem libet. 

19 Tu tamen ita cogita, quod ex homine periculum sit, ut 

20 cogites, quod sit hominis officium. Alterum intuere ne 

21 laedaris, alterum ne laedas. Commodis omnium laeteris, 

22 movearis incommodis, et memineris, quae praestare debeas, _\.s.<^^^ 

23 quae cavere. Sic vivendo quid consequeris? Non te ne 

24 noceant, sed ne fallant. Quantum potes autem, in philoso- ^ ^■^ 

25 phiam secede: ilia te sinu suo proteget. In huius sacrario 
.26 eris aut tutus aut tutior. Non arietant inter se nisi in eadem 

27 ambulantes via. Ipsam philosophiam non debebis iactare. 

28 Multis fuit periculi causa insolenter tr aetata et contumaciter. 

29 Tibi vitia detrahat, non aliis exprobret. Non abhorreat a 
so publicis moribus nee hoc agat, ut quicquid non facit, dam- 

31 nare videatur. Licet sapere sine pompa, sine invidia. " 

32 Vale. 

^K^ . 

148 National or Classical Roman Literature 

^ \ 





" J 






'■^ "^ 




Ljudus De Morte ^or Apocolocyntosis) Claudii 

Like most monarchs, Claudius was accepted and revered with- 
out question by the populace, to whom he symbolized the remote 
figurehead of government. But to his own court, who knew him 
as a human being, he was a fool; and like Charles VII of France, 
in the days of Joan of Arc, the constant butt of ridicule. Signifi- 
cant pictures of his life and character may be found in the 
Biography ^ by Suetonius. It must be remembered of course 
that both Seneca's Apocolocyntosis and Suetonius' Biography 
present one-sided pictures of the Emperor. He was undoubtedly 
unfit to rule, but his many weak and vicious traits were not un- 
relieved by some admirable qualities. He was deified after death 
— if that is any distinction; Tiberius, Caligula, Nero, and Domi- 
tian were not. 

Whatever we may think of Seneca's taste in making sport of the 
dead and flattering the living (for he hails the new emperor, Nero, 
as a prodigy), the Apocolocyntosis is a work of genuine wit and 
humor. It is a parody on Greek mythology and the formal state 
religion of Rome — particularly on the deification of emperors. 

For us it has acquired unique importance as the only extant 
work of its kind; but this is accidental. The vast majority of 
informal writings — ^the tales, stories, and merry jests we so often 
miss in classical literature — have perished because they were 
regarded by the Greeks and Romans themselves as low-caste, or 
infra dig. The ancients were perfectly human, and amused 
themselves with stories, novels, and lighter compositions, just as 
we do; but they did not dignify these works by the name of 
** literature." What they called 'literature" was almost uni- 
formly ''highbrow." 

In keeping with the flippant character of Seneca's skit is its 
use of the sermo plebeius, or vulgar Latin. This differentiation 
between literary and spoken forms of the language goes back to 
the very beginnings of national Roman literature. A tinge of 

1 This has been translated by Professor J. C. Rolfe, in the Loeb Library. 

Fifth Period 149 

the vulgar speech appears in Plautus; then not again (i.e., in any 
extant works) until the time of Nero, when we find it here in 
Seneca and — applied with far more elaborate and masterly- 
effect — in the novels of Petronius. 

Vulgar Latin played a definite part in Latin literature of the 
Christian and medieval periods. In the Dark Ages, when educa- 
tion was almost forgotten, it alone continued to be spoken by the 
common people; and it was from vulgar Latin that the Romance 
languages were derived. Thus French cheval and Italian cavallo 
are derived from the popular Latin word cahallus (horse), while 
the literary equus dropped from use; similarly French bouche and 
Italian hocca come from bucca (mouth) ; and so forth. 

Another feature of this type of composition — common to 
Seneca and Petronius, but whose extensive use elsewhere is not 
known — is the alternation of prose and verse. Originally 
called satura — not in the later meaning of satire, but in the sense 
of medley — , this feature too was further developed in medieval 


1 Quid actum sit in caelo ante diem III. idus Octobris 

2 anno novo, initio saeculi felicissimi, volo memoriae tradere. 

3 Nihil nee offensae nee gratiae dabitur. Haec ita vera. 

4 Si quis quaesiverit unde sciam, primum, si noluero, non 

5 respondebo. Quis coacturus est? Ego scio me liberum 

6 factum, ex quo suum diem obiit ille, qui verum proverbium 

7 fecerat, aut regem aut fatuum nasci oportere. Si libuerit 

8 respondere, dicam quod mihi in buccam venerit. Quis 

9 umquam ab historico iuratores exegit? Tamen si necesse 

10 fuerit auctorem producere, quaerito ab eo qui Drusillam \^ 

11 euntem in caelum vidit: idem Claudium vidisse se dicet 

12 iter facientem ''non passibus aequis." Velit nolit, necesse 

13 est illi omnia videre, quae in caelo aguntur: Appiae viae 

14 curator est, qua scis et Divum August um et Tiber ium 

15 Caesarem ad deos isse. Hunc si interrogaveris, soli 

16 narrabit; coram pluribus numquam verbum faciet. Nam 

17 ex quo in senatu iuravit se Drusillam vidisse caelum a- 


150 National or Classical Roman Literature 

18 scendentem et illi pro tarn bono nuntio nemo credidit^ 

19 quod viderit verbis conceptis adfirmavit se non indicaturum, 

20 etiam si in medio foro hominem occisum vidisset. Ab 

21 hoc ego quae tum audivi, certa clara adfero, ita ilium salvum 

22 et felicem habeam. 


1 lam Phoebus breviore via contraxerat ortum 

2 lucis et obscuri crescebant tempora somni, 

3 iamque suum victrix augebat Cynthia regnum 
'4 et deformis hiems gratos carpebat honores 

6 divitis autumni visoque senescere Baccho 

6 carpebat raras serus vindemitor uvas. 

7 Puto magis intellegi, si dixero: mensis erat October, dies 

8 III. idus Octobris. Horam non possum certam tibi 

9 dicere, facilius inter philosophos quam inter horologia 

10 conveniet, tamen inter sextam et septimam erat. "Nimis 

11 rustice!'' inquies. ''Sunt omnes poetae non contenti ortus 

12 et occasus describere, ut etiam medium diem inquietent; 

13 tu sic transibis horam tam bonam?" 

14 lam medium curru Phoebus diviserat orbem, 

15 et propior nocti fessas quatiebat habenas, 

16 obliquo fiexam deducens tramite lucem. 


1 Claudius animam agere coepit nee invenire exitum 

2 poterat. Tum Mercurius, qui semper ingenio eius de- 

3 lectatus esset, unam e tribus Parcis seducit et ait: ''quid, 

4 femina crudelissima, hominem miserum torqueri pateris? 

5 Nee umquam, tam diu cruciatus, cesset? Annus sexa- 

6 gesimus quartus est, ex quo cum anima luctatur. Quid 

7 huic et rei publicae invides? Patere mathematicos ali- 

8 quando verum dicere, qui ilium, ex quo princeps factus 

9 est, omnibus annis, omnibus mensibus efferunt. Et 

10 tamen non est mirum si errant et horam eius nemo novit; 

11 nemo enim umquam ilium natum putavit. Fac quod 


Vi) J 







Fifth Period 


faciendum est: 

'Dede neci, melior vacua sine regnet in aula/" 

Sed Clot ho "ego mehercules" inquit "pusillum temporis 
adicere illi volebam, dum hos pauculos, qui supersunt, 
civitate donaret ; constituerat enim omnes Graecos, Gallos, 
Hispanos, Britannos togatos videre; sed quoniam placet 
aliquos peregrinos in semen relinqui et tu ita iubes fieri, 
fiat." Aperit tum capsulam et tres fusos profert: unus 
erat Augurini, alter Babae, tertius Claudii. "Hos" inquit 
"tres uno anno, exiguis inter vallis temporum divisos, mori 
iubebo, nee ilium incomitatum dimittam. Non oportet 
enim eum, qui modo se tot milia hominum sequentia 
videbat, tot praecedentia, tot circumfusa, subito solum 
destitui. Contentus erit his interim convictoribus." 

Haec ait et turpi convolvens stamina fuso 
abrupit stolidae regalia tempora vitae. 
At Lachesis, redimita comas, ornata capillos, ^-^ 

Pieria crinem lauro frontemque coronans, 
Candida de niveo subtemina vellere sumit 
felici moderanda manu, quae ducta colorem 
adsumpsere novum. Mirantur pensa sorores: 
mutatur vilis pretioso lana metallo, 
aurea formoso descendunt saecula filo. 
Nee modus est illis, felicia vellera ducunt 
et gaudent implere manus, sunt dulcia pensa. 
Sponte sua festinat opus nulloque labore 
moUia contorto descendunt stamina fuso. 
Vincunt Tithoni, vincunt et Nestoris annos. 
Phoebus adest cantuque iuvat gaudetque futuris 
et laetus nunc plectra movet, nunc pensa ministrat. 
Detinet intentas cantu fallitque laborem. 
Dumque nimis citharam fraternaque carmina laudant 
plus solito nevere manus humanaque fata 
laudatum transcendit opus. "Ne demite, Parcae " 
Phoebus ait. "Vincat mortalis tempora vitae 

152 National or Classical Roman Literature 

22 ille, mihi similis vultu similisque decore, 

23 nee cantu nee voee minor. Felieia lassis 

24 saeeula praestabit legumque silentia rumpet. 

25 Qualis diseutiens fugientia Lueifer astra 

26 aut qualis surgit redeuntibus Hesperus astris, 

27 qualis, eum primum tenebris Aurora solutis 

28 induxit rubieunda diem, Sol aspieit orbem 

29 lueidus et primos a eareere eoncitat axes: 

30 talis Caesar adest, talem iam Roma Neronem 

31 aspiciet. Flagrat nitidus fulgore remisso 

32 vultus et adfuso eervix formosa capillo/' 

33 Haec Apollo. At Lachesis, quae et ipsa homini formo- 

34 sissimo faveret, feeit illud plena manu, et Neroni multos 

35 annos de suo donat. Claudium autem iubent omnes 

36 xcttpoj^ras, €v<l>r]fiovvT as kKTrefiTreiv d6fjL0)v, 

37 Et ille quidem animam ebulliit, et ex eo desiit vivere 

38 videri. Exspiravit autem dum comoedos audit (ut seias 

39 me non sine eausa illos timere). Ultima vox eius haec 

40 inter homines audita est (cum maiorem sonitum emisisset 

41 ilia parte, qua facilius loquebatur): "vae me, puto, con- 

42 cacavi me." Quod an fecerit, nescio : omnia certe concacavit. 


1 Quae in terris postea sint acta, supervacuum est referre. 

2 Scitis enim optime, nee periculum est ne exeidant quae 

3 memoriae gaudium pubUcum impresserit: nemo felicitatis 

4 suae obliviscitur. In eaelo quae acta sint, audite: fides 

5 penes auetorem erit. 

6 Nuntiatur lovi venisse quendam bonae staturae, bene 

7 canum; neseioquid ilium minari, assidue enim caput movere; 

8 pedem dextrum trahere. Quaesisse se, cuius nationis esset : 

9 respondisse neseioquid perturbato sono et voee confusa; 

10 non intellegere se linguam eius, nee Graecum esse nee 

11 Romanum nee ullius gentis notae. Tum luppiter Her- 

12 culem, qui totum orbem terrarum pererraverat et nosse 

Fifth Period 153 

13 videbatur omnes nationes, iubet ire et explorare, quorum 

14 hominum esset. Turn Hercules primo aspectu sane per- 
is turbatus est, ut qui etiam non omnia monstra timuerit. 

16 Ut vidit novi generis faciem, insolitum incessum, vocem 

17 nullius terrestris animalis sed qualis esse marinis beluis 

18 solet, raucam et implicatam, putavit sibi tertium decimum 

19 laborem venisse. Diligentius intuenti visus est quasi 

20 homo. Accessit itaque et, quod facillimum fuit Graeculo, 

21 ait: ^ 

22 Tts iroBev els avdpcbvj ttoBl tol ttoXis r]8e roKrjes? 

23 Claudius gaudet esse illic philologos homines, sperat futu- 

24 rum aliquem Historiis suis locum. Itaque et ipse Homerico 

25 versu Caesarem se esse significans ait: 

26 ^YkLoBev fjLe (fykpoov avefios l^LKOveaai, ireXacraev. 

27 (Erat autem sequens versus verior, aeque Homericus: 

28 evda 5' €70? ttoXlv eirpadov, oiKeaa 5' aureus.) 


1 Et imposuerat Herculi minime vafro, nisi fuisset illic 

2 Febris, quae fano suo relicto sola cum illo venerat: ceteros 

3 omnes deos Romae reliquerat. ^*Iste" inquit "mera 

4 mendacia narrat. Ego tibi dico, quae cum illo tot annis 

5 vixi: Luguduni natus est, Marci municipem vides. Quod 

6 tibi narro, ad sextum decimum lapidem natus est a Vienna, 

7 Gallus germanus. Itaque quod Galium facere oporte- 

8 bat, Romam cepit. Hunc ego tibi recipio Luguduni 

9 natum, ubi Licinus multis annis regnavit. Tu autem, 

10 qui plura loca calcasti quam ullus mulio perpetuarius 

11 Lugudunensis, scire debes multa milia inter Xanthum et 

12 Rhodanum interesse." Excandescit hoc loco Claudius et 

13 quanto potest murmure irascitur. Quid diceret, nemo 

14 intellegebat, ille autem Febrim duci iubebat. Illo gestu 

15 solutae manus et ad hoc unum satis firmae, quo decoUare 

154 National or Classical Roman Literature 

16 homines solebat, iusserat illi collum praecidi. Put ares 

17 omnes illius esse libertos: adeo ilium nemo curabat. 


1 Turn Hercules "audi me" inquit, "tu desine fatuari. 

2 Venisti hue, ubi mures ferrum rodunt. Citius mihi verum, 

3 ne tibi alogias excutiam." Et quo terribilior esset, tragicus 

4 fit et ait: 

5 "Exprome propere, sede qua genitus cluas, 

6 hoc ne peremptus stipite ad terram accidas; 

7 haec clava reges saepe mactavit feros. 

8 Quid nunc profatu vocis incerto sonas? 

9 Quae patria, quae gens mobile eduxit caput ? 

10 Edissere. Equidem regna tergemini petens 

11 longinqua regis, unde ab Hesperio mari 

12 Inachiam ad urbem nobile advexi pecus, 

13 vidi duobus imminens fluviis iugum, 
^ ^ 14 quod Phoebus ortu semper obverso videt, 

^\/ 15 ubi Rhodanus ingens amne praerapido fluit, 

16 Ararque dubitans, quo suos cursus agat, 

17 tacitus quietis adluit ripas vadis. 

18 Estne ilia tellus spiritus altrix tui?" 

19 Haec satis animose et for titer; nihilo minus mentis suae 
. 20 non est et timet /xcopoO Tr\r]yr]v. Claudius ut vidit virum 

V^ ( 21 valentem, oblitus nugarum intellexit neminem Romae sibi 

V^ I -22 parem fuisse, illic non habere se idem gratiae: gallum in 

23 suo sterquilino plurimum posse. Itaque quantum intel- 

24 legi potuit, haec visus est dicere: ''ego te, fortissime deo- 

25 rum Hercule, speravi mihi adfuturum apud alios, et si qui 

26 a me notorem petisset, te fui nominaturus, qui me optime 

27 nosti. Nam si memoria repetis, ego eram qui tibi ante 

28 templum tuum ius dicebam totis diebus mense lulio et 
^ ' 29 Augusto. Tu scis, quantum illic miseriarum contulerim, 

30 cum causidicos audirem diem et noctem, in quos si inci- 

31 disses, valde fortis licet tibi videaris, maluisses cloacas 

Fifth Period 155 

32 Augeae purgare: multo plus ego stercoris exhausi. Sed 

33 quoniam volo . . . . " 


1 "Non mirum quod in curiam impetum fecisti: nihil 

2 tibi clausi est. Modo die nobis, qualem deum istum 

3 fieri velis. ''EwLKovpeios deos non potest esse: ovre avrbs 

4 Trpayfia €xet tl ovre dXXots xapexet. Stoicus? Quomodo 

5 potest 'rotundus' esse, ut ait Varro, ^sine capite, sine 

6 praeputio'? Est aliquid in illo Stoici dei, iam video: nee 

7 eor nee caput habet. Si mehercules a Saturno petisset 

8 hoc benefieium, cuius mensem toto anno celebravit Satur- 

9 nalicius princeps, non tulisset illud, nedum ab love, quem, 

10 quantum quidem in illo fuit, damnavit incest i. Silanum 

11 enim generum suum occidit propterea quod sororem 

12 suam, festivissimam omnium puellarum, quam omnes 

13 'Venerem' vocarent, maluit ^lunonem' vocare. ^Quare,' 

14 inquis, ^quaero enim, sororem suam?' Stulte, stude: 

15 Athenis dimidium licet, Alexandriae totum. 'Quia Ro- 

16 mae' inquis 'mures molas lingunt/ Hie nobis curva 

17 corriget? Quid in cubiculo suo faciat, nescit, et iam 

18 'caeli scrutatur plagas/ Deus fieri vult: parum est 

19 quod templum in Britannia habet, quod hune barbari 

20 colunt et ut deum orant jjuapov eviXaTov rvxeivV 


1 Tandem lovi venit in mentem, privatis intra curiam 

2 morantibus sententiam dicere non licere nee disputare. 

3 ''Ego," inquit, "P. C. interrogare vobis permiseram, 

4 vos mera mapalia fecistis. Volo ut servetis disciplinam 

5 curiae. Hie, qualiscumque est, quid de nobis existimabit ? " 

6 Illo dimisso primus interrogatur sententiam lanus pater. 

7 Is designatus erat in kal. lulias postmeridianus con- 

8 sul, homo quantumvis vafer, qui semper videt a/ta Trpoaaoy 

9 Kal oiriaaa). Is multa diserte, quod in Foro vivebat, dixit, 

10 quae notarius persequi non potuit et ideo non refero, ne 

11 aliis verbis ponam, quae ab illo dicta sunt. Multa dixit 

156 National or Classical Roman Literature 

12 de magnitudine deorum: non debere hunc vulgo dari 

13 honorem. "Olim/' inquit, "magna res erat deum fieri: 

14 iam famam mimum fecisti. Itaque no videar in per- 

15 sonam, non in rem dicere sententiam, censeo ne quis 

16 post hunc diem deus fiat ex his, qui apovpfjs Kapirbv ehovaiv 

17 aut ex his, quos alit ^elbwpos apovpa. Qui contra hoc 

18 senatus consult um deus fact us, dictus pictusve erit, eum 

19 dedi Larvis et proximo munere inter novos auctoratos 

20 ferulis vapulare placet/' 

21 Proximus interrogatur sententiam Diespiter Vicae Potae 

22 filius, et ipse designatus consul, nummular iolus: hoc quaestu 

23 se sustinebat, vendere civitatulas solebat. Ad hunc 

24 belle accessit Hercules et auriculam illi tetigit. Censet 

25 itaque in haec verba: "cum Divus Claudius et Divum 

26 Augustum sanguine contingat nee minus Divam August am 

27 aviam suam, quam ipse deam esse iussit, longeque omnes 

28 mortales sapientia antecellat, sit que e re publica esse ali- 

29 quem qui cum Romulo possit 'ferventia rapa vorare,' 

30 censeo uti Divus Claudius ex hac die deus sit, ita uti ante 

31 eum qui optimo iure f actus sit, eamque rem ad Meta- 

32 morphosis Ovidi adiciendam." Variae erant sententiae, et 

33 videbatur Claudius sententiam vincere. Hercules enim, 

34 qui videret ferrum suum in igne esse, modo hue modo illuc 

35 cursabat et aiebat: "noli mihi invidere, mea res agitur; 

36 deinde tu si quid volueris, invicem faciam; manus manum 

37 lavat." 


1 Tunc Divus Augustus surrexit sententiae suae loco 

2 dicendae et summa facundia disseruit: "Ego,'' inquit, 

3 "P. C. vos testes habeo, ex quo deus factus sum, nullum 

4 me verbum fecisse: semper meum negotium ago. Sed 

5 non possum amplius dissimulare et dolorem, quem gravi- 

6 orem pudor facit, continere. In hoc terra marique pacem. 

7 peperi? Ideo civilia bella compescui? Ideo legibus ur- 

8 bem fundavi, operibus ornavi, ut — quid dicam P.O. 
ri 9 non invenio: omnia infra indignationem verba sunt. Con- 

Fifth Period 157 

10 fugiendum est itaque ad Messalae Corvini, disertissimi 

11 viri, illam sententiam, ^pudet imperii/ Hie, P. C, qui 

12 vobis non posse videtur muscam excitare, tarn facile 

13 homines occidebat, quam canis adsidit. Sed quid ego 

14 de tot ac talibus viris dicam? Non vacat deflere publicas 

15 clades intuenti domestica mala. Itaque ilia omittam, 

16 haec referam; nam etiam si soror mea nescit, ego scio: 

17 eyy Lov yovv Kvrjjjirjs. Iste quem videtis, per tot annos sub 

18 meo nomine latens, banc mihi gratiam rettulit, ut duas 

19 lulias proneptes meas occideret, alteram ferro, alteram 

20 fame, unum abnepotem L. Silanum — videris, luppiter, an 

21 in causa mala, certe in tua (si aequus futurus es). Die 

22 mihi, Dive Claudi, quare quemquam ex his, quos quasque 

23 occidisti, antequam de causa cognosceres, antequam 

24 audires, damnasti? Hoc ubi fieri solet ? In caelo non fit." 


1 "Ecce luppiter, qui tot annos regnat, uni Volcano crus 

2 fregit, quem 

3 p7\p€ TTodos reraycdv aird ^rjXov deawealoLOf 

4 et iratus fuit uxori et suspendit illam: numquid occldit? 

5 Tu Messalinam, cuius aeque avunculus maior eram quam 

6 tuus, occidisti. 'Nescio' inquis. Di tibi male faciant: 

7 adeo istuc turpius est, quod nescisti, quam quod occidisti. 

8 C. Caesarem non desiit mortuum persequi. Occiderat 

9 ille socerum: hie et generum. Gaius Crassi filium vetuit 

10 Magnum vocari: hie nomen illi reddidit, caput tulit. Oc- 

11 cidit in una domo Crassum, Magnum, Scriboniam, tris 

12 homines assarios, nobiles tamen, Crassum vero tarn fa- 

13 tuum, ut etiam regnare posset. Hunc nunc deum facere 

14 vultis? Videte corpus eius dis iratis natum. Ad sum- 

15 mam, tria verba cito dicat, et servum me ducat. Hunc 

16 deum quis colet? Quis credet? Dum tales deos facitis, 

17 nemo vos deos esse credet. Summa rei, P. C, si honeste 

18 me inter vos gessi, si nulli clarius respondi, vindicate in- 

19 iurias meas. Ego pro sententia mea hoc censeo," atque 

158 National or Classical Roman Literature 

20 ita ex tabella recitavit: "quando quidem Divus Claudius 

21 occidit socerum suum Appium Silanum, generos duos 

22 Magnum Pompeium et L. Silanum, socerum filiae suae 

23 Crassum Frugi, hominem tam similem sibi quam ovo 

24 ovum, Scriboniam socrum filiae suae, uxorem suam Mes- 

25 salinam et ceteros quorum numerus iniri non potuit, placet 

26 mihi in eum severe animadvert! nee illi rerum iudicandarum 

27 vacationem dari eumque quam primum exportari et caelo 

28 intra triginta dies excedere, Olympo intra diem tertium." 

29 Pedibus in banc sententiam itum est. Nee mora, Cyl- 

30 lenius ilium collo obtorto trahit ad inferos 

31 "unde negant redire quemquam." 


1 Dum descendunt per viam Sacram, interrogat Mercurius, 

2 quid sibi velit ille concursus hominum, num Claudii funus 

3 esset? Et erat omnium formosissimum et impensa cura, 

4 plane ut scires deum efferri: tubicinum, cornicinum, om- 

5 nis generis aenatorum tanta turba, tantus concentus, ut 

6 etiam Claudius audire posset. Omnes laeti, hilares: 

7 populus Romanus ambulabat tamquam liber. Agatho et 

8 pauci causidici plorabant, sed plane ex animo. luriscon- 

9 sulti e tenebris procedebant, pallidi, graciles, vix animam 

10 habentes, tamquam qui tum maxime reviviscerent. Ex 

11 his unus cum vidisset capita conferentes et fortunas suas 

12 deplorantes causidicos, accedit et ait: "dicebam vobis: 

13 non semper Saturnalia erunt." Claudius ut vidit funus 

14 suum, intellexit se mortuum esse. Ingenti enim tieyakc^ 

15 xorikQ nenia cantabatur anapaestis: 

16 "Fundite fletus, edite planctus, 

17 resonet tristi clamore Forum: 

18 cecidit pulchre cordatus homo, 

19 quo non alius fuit in toto 

20 fortior orbe. 

21 Ille citato vincere cursu 

22 poterat celeres, ille rebelles 

23 fundere Parthos levibusque sequi 

Fifth Period 159 

24 Persida telis, certaque manu 

25 tendere nervum, qui praecipites 

26 vulnere parvo figeret hostes, 

27 pictaque Medi terga fugacis. 

28 lUe Britannos ultra noti 

29 litora ponti 

30 et caeruleos scuta Brigantas 

31 dare Romuleis colla catenis 

32 iussit et ipsum nova Romanae 

33 iura securis tremere Oceanum. 

34 Deflete virum, quo non alius 

35 potuit citius discere causas, 

36 una tantum parte audita, 

37 saepe nee utra. Quis nunc iudex 

38 toto lites audiet anno ? 

39 Tibi iam cedet sede relict a, 

40 qui dat populo iura silenti, 

41 Cretaea tenens oppida centum. 

42 Caedite maestis pectora palmis, 

43 o causidici, venale genus. 

44 Vosque poetae lugete novi, 

45 vosque imprimis qui concusso 

46 magna parastis lucra fritillo." 


1 Delectabatur laudibus suis Claudius et cupiebat diutius 

2 spectare. Inicit illi manum Talthybius deorum et trahit 

3 capite obvoluto, ne quis eum possit agnoscere, per campum 

4 Martium, et inter Tiberim et viam Tectam descendit ad 

5 inferos. Antecesserat iam compendiaria Narcissus libertus 

6 ad patronum excipiendum et venienti nitidus, ut erat a 

7 balineo, occurrit et ait : ' ' quid di ad homines V ^ ' Celerius, ' ' 

8 inquit Mercurius, ''et venire nos nuntia." Dicto citius 

9 Narcissus evolat. Omnia proclivia sunt, facile descenditur. 

10 Itaque quamvis podagricus esset, momento temporis 

11 pervenit ad ianuam Ditis ubi iacebat Cerberus vel, ut ait 

12 Horatius, ''belua centiceps." Pusillum perturbatur — sub- 

160 National or Classical Roman Literature 

13 albam canem in deliciis habere adsueverat — ^ut ilium 

14 vidit canem nigrum, villosum, sane non quem velis tibi 

15 in tenebris occurrere. Et magna voce, "Claudius," in- 

16 quit, "veniet." . . . cum plausu procedunt cantantes: 

17 evprjKa/ieVj avyxaipofiev. Hie erat C. Silius consul designatus, 

18 luncus praetorius. Sex. Traulus, M. Helvius, Trogus, 

19 Cotta, Vettius Valens, Fabius, equites R. quos Narcissus 

20 duci iusserat. Medius erat in hac cantantium turba 

2 1 Mnester pantomimus, quem Claudius decoris causa minorem 

22 fecerat. Ad Messalinam — cito rumor percrebuit Claudium 

23 venisse — convolant : primi omnium liberti Polybius, Myron, 

24 Harpocras, Amphaeus, Pheronactus, quos Claudius omnes, 

25 necubi imparatus esset, praemiserat; deinde praefecti duo 

26 lustus Catonius et Rufrius PoUio; deinde amici Saturni- 

27 nus Lusius et Pedo Pompeius et Lupus et Celer Asinius 

28 consulares; novissime fratris filia, sororis filia, generi, 

29 soceri, socrus, omnes plane consanguinei. Et agmine 

30 facto Claudio occurrunt. Quos cum vidisset Claudius, 

31 exclamat: '^iravra <j>i\o}v irK'npt)^ quomodo hue venistis vos?" 

32 Tum Pedo Pompeius: "quid dicis, homo crudelissime ? 

33 Quaeris quomodo ? Quis enim nos alius hue misit quam tu, 

34 omnium amicorum interfector? In ius eamus: ego tibi 

35 hie sellas ostendam." 


1 Ducit ilium ad tribunal Aeaci: is lege Cornelia quae de 

2 sicariis lata est, quaerebat. Postulat nomen eius recipiat; 

3 edit subscriptionem : occisos senatores XXXV, equites R. 

4 CCXXI, ceteros oaa ypafiadbs re kovls re, Advocatum non 

5 invenit. Tandem procedit P. Petronius, vetus convictor 

6 eius, homo Claudiana lingua disertus, et postulat advoca- 

7 tionem. Non datur. Accusat Pedo Pompeius magnis 

8 clamoribus. Incipit patronus velle respondere. Aeacus, 

9 homo iustissimus, vetat et ilium altera tantum parte audita 

10 condemnat et ait: aUe ttLBol to. t epe^e, blKi] k iSela. ykvoiro, 

11 Ingens silentium factum est. Stupebant omnes novitate 

12 rei attoniti; negabant hoc umquam factum. Claudio 

Fifth Period 



magis iniquum videbatur quam novum. De genere poenae 
diu disputatum est, quid ilium pati oporteret. Erant qui 
dicerent, Sisyphum diu laturam fecisse, Tantalum siti 
periturum nisi illi succurreretur, aliquando Ixionis miseri 
rotam sufilaminandam. Non placuit uUi ex veteribus 
missionem dari, ne vel Claudius umquam simile speraret. 
Placuit novam poenam constitui debere, excogitandum illi 
laborem irritum et alicuius cupiditatis spem sine fine et 
effectu. Tum Aeacus iubet ilium alea ludere pertuso 
fritillo. Et iam coeperat fugientes semper tesseras quaerere 
et nihil proficere. 


Nam quotiens missurus erat resonante fritillo, 
utraque subducto fugiebat tessera fundo. 
Cumque recollectos auderet mittere talos, 
lusuro similis semper semperque petenti, 
decepere fidem: refugit digitosque per ipsos 
fallax assiduo dilabitur alea furto. 
Sic cum iam summi tanguntur culmina montis, 
irrita Sisyphio volvuntur pondera coUo. 

9 Apparuit subito C. Caesar et petere ilium in servitutem 

10 coepit; producit testes, qui ilium viderant ab ipso flagris, 

11 f epulis, colaphis vapulantem. Adiudicatur C. Caesari; 

12 Caesar ilium Aeaco donat. Is Menandro liber to suo 

13 tradidit, ut a cognitionibus esset. A >>^ ^^ ' 




(Born in ?; active from 5^-66 A.D.) 

His Character and Achievements 

Petronius was a product of the sophisticated and dissolute life 
of the metropolis. A man of unusual ability and artistic genius, 
he dehberatly chose to be a roue. His character and career at 
the court of Nero have been vividly sketched by the historian 
Tacitus in the Annals (XVI, 18-19). The chief work of this 






v^^ , sH^^ 





162 National or Classical Roman Literature 

brilliant aesthete — long Nero's "arbiter of elegance '^ — was the 
Satyricon, a realistic novel or long, rambling tale of picaresque 
adventure. It was perhaps intended as a parody on sentimental 
Greek romances — though we cannot be sure of its general purpose 
and structure, since only disjointed fragments of the sixteen books 
have been preserved. Of those fragments many are obscene, 
some witty; they include famous tales and anecdotes — e.g., the 
story of the Widow of Ephesus — and keen, incisive judgments on 
men and manners; but the gem of the whole work is the long 
satiric episode called Trimalchio^ s Dinner. This description of 
. the extravagance and bad taste of a wealthy parvenu and his 
circle of bourgeois friends, is a masterly picture of human nature — 
unsurpassed by Dickens, Thackeray, or any other modern author. 
^/' Most extraordinary — and wholly unparalleled in ancient litera- 

ture — is Petronius' method of depicting humble characters by 
means of realistic conversation in illiterate dialect. As Tri- 
malchio's dinner guests entertain each other with stories, we 
hear (as nowhere else) the spoken language of the streets — 
_x; — '"^~ the genuine sermo pleheius. To be sure, Trimalchio and his 
"^ K guests tinge their dialect with the Greek colloquialisms of Naples 

"^ / (for the episode takes place in that part of the country), but dis- 

^ ^ counting the local peculiarities, it may be said that we learn more 

of the popular speech from Petronius than from any other source. 
Human nature remains the same, but literary fashions often 
restrict or distort the view of life they bequeath to posterity. 
If ever classical literature seems strange and different from the 
modern, one need only read Petronius as an antidote ; for his un- 
conventional narrative has supplemented the ''classical" view of 
life and filled in some of its blank spaces. With this unaffected — 
though often unmoral — attitude toward life, Petronius brings the 
past into full and natural accord with the present. ,,> ^ 



N ^ .. V^^- 

^ ^ . V>^^ 

V-^ ^ s^>?- .>. 


v> v-^-^ 

Fifth Period 163 

The Satyricon ^ 

[1] ^^ 


Trimalchio^s Dinner 


[Niceros tells a tale about a werewolf, and Trimalchio replies 
with one of witchcraft.] 

1 Trimalchio ad Nicerotem respexit et ''solebas" inquit 

-~2 ''sftavius esse in convictu ; nescioquid nunc taces nee muttis. 

3 Oro te, sic felicem me videas, narra illud quod tibi usu venit." 

4 Niceros delect at us affabiltate amici '*omne me" inquit "lu- v^'' 

^ 5 crum transeat, nisi iam dudum gaudimonio dissilio, quod te y 

6 talem video. Itaque hilaria mera sint, etsi timeo istos scho- 

7 lasticos, ne me rideant. Viderint ; narrabo tamen ; quid enim 

8 mihi aufert, qui ridet? Satius est rideri quam derideri." 

9 '^Haec ubi dicta dedit/' talem fabulam exorsus est: 

10 ''Cum adhuc servirem, habitabamus in Vico Angusto; 

11 nunc Gavillae domus est. Ibi, quomodo dii volunt, amare 

12 coepi uxorem Terentii coponis: noveratis Melissam Taren- 

13 tinam, pulcherrimum ba^ciballum. Sed ego non mehercules 

14 corporaliter illam aut propter res venerias curavi, sed magis ^^^ 

15 quod beiiemoria fuit. Si quid ab ilia petii, numquam mihi 

16 negatum; fecit assem, semissem habui; quicquid habui, in 

17 illius sinum demandavi, nee umquam fefellitus sum. Huius 

18 contubernalis ad villam supremum diem obiit. Itaque per 

19 scutum per bcream egi aginavi, quemadmodum ad illam 

20 pervenirem: scitis autem, in angustiis amici apparent. 

21 Forte dominus Capuam exierat ad scruta scita expedienda. 

22 *' Nactus ego occasionem persuadeo hospitem nostrum, ut 

23 mecum ad quintum miliarium veniat. Erat autem miles, 

24 fortis tamquam Orcus. Apoculamus nos circa gallicinia. 

25 Luna lucebat tamquam meridie. Venimus inter mohi- 

26 menta. Homo meus coepit ad stelas facere. Sedeo ego 
27^ cantabundus et stelas numero. Deinde ut respexi ad comi- 

28 tem, ille exuit se et omnia vestimenta secundum viam Ij 






164 National or Classical Roman Literature 

29 posuit. Mihi anima in naso esse; stabam tamquam mor- 

30 tuus. At ille circumminxit vestimenta sua, et subito lupus 

31 fact us est. Nolite me iocari put are; ut mentiar, nuUius 

32 patrimonium tanti facio. Sed, quod coeperam dicere, 

33 postquam lupus factus est, ululare coepit et in silvas fugit. 

34 Ego primitus nesciebam ubi essem, deinde accessi, ut vesti- 

35 menta eius tollerem; ilia autem lapidea facta sunt. Qui 

36 mori timore nisi ego ? Gladium tamen strinxi et in tot a via 

37 umbras cecTdi, donee ad villam amicae meae pervenirem. 

38 Ut larva intra vi; paene animam ebuUivi; sudor mjhi per 

39 bifurcum volabat; oculi mortui; vix umquam refectus sum. 

40 Melissa mea mirari coepit, quid tam sero ambularem, et 

41 ^si ante' inquit ^venisses, salteni nobis adiutasses; lupus 

42 enim villam intravit, et omnia pecora— tanquam laniiis 

43 sanguinem illis misit. Nee tamen derisit, etiam si fugit, 

44 servus enim noster lancea collum eius traiecit.' Haec ut 

45 audivi, operire oculos amplius non potui, sed luce clara 

46 Gai nostri domum fugi tamquam copo compilatus, et post- 
47 quam veni in locum ilium, in quo lapidea vestimenta erant 

48 facta, nihil inveni nisi sanguinem. Ut vero domum veni, 

49 iacebat miles meus in lecto tamquam bovis, et collum illius 

50 medicus curabat. Intellexi ilium versipellem esse, nee 

51 postea cum illo panem gustare potui, non si me occidisses. 

52 Viderint alii quid de hoc exopinissent ; ego si mentior, genios 

53 vestros iratos habeam." 

54 Attonitis admiratione universis, '^ salvo '* inquit "tuo 

55 sermone," Trimalchio, ''si qua fides est, ut mihi pili inhor- 

56 ruerunt, quia scio Niceronem nihil nugarum narrare; immo 

57 certus est et minime linguosus. Nam et ipse vobis rem 
tr^^ ]> 58 horribilem narrabo — asinus in tegulis. Cum adhuc capil- 
.>',.^-r-59 latus essem (nam a puero vitam Chiam gessi), ipsimi nostri 
J-' 60 delicatus decessit, mehercules margaritum, caccitus et om- 
v^' .^ 61 nium numerum. Cum ergo ilium mater misella plangeret et 
' "^ 62 nos tum plures in tristimonio essemus, subito strigae stridere 

63 coeperunt: putares canem leporem persequi. Habebamus 

64 tunc hominem Cappadocem, longum, valde audaculum, et 

65 qui valebat: poterat bovem iratum toUere. Hie audacter 

Fifth Period 165 

66 stricto gladio extra ostium procucurrit, involuta sinistra 

67 manu curiose, et mulierem tamquam hoc loco (salvum sit 

68 quod tango) mediam traiecit. Audimus gemitum, et 

69 (plane non mentiar) ipsas non vidimus. Baro autem noster 

70 introversus se proiecit in lectum, et corpus totum lividum 

71 habebat quasi flagellis caesus, quia scilicet ilium tetigerat 

72 mala manus. Nos cluso ostio redimus iterum ad officium, 

73 sed dum mater amplexaret corpus filii sui, tangit et videt 

74 manuciolum de stramentis factum. Non cor habebat, non 

75 intestina, non quicquam: scilicet iam puerum strigae 

76 involaverant et supposuerant stramenticium vavatonem. 
j^ 77 Rogo vos, oportet credatis, sunt mulieres plussciae, sunt 

^•^ 78 nocturnae, et quod sursum est, deorsum faciunt. Ceterum 

>^ ^.^ 79 baro ille longus post hoc factum numquam coloris sui fuit, 

.v"^ 80 immo post paucos dies phreneticiis periit." 

' ^^^ 81 Miramur nos et pariter credimus, osculatique mensam 

82 rogamus nocturnas, ut suis se teneant, dum redimus a cena. 

[2] V'i 

The Widow of Ephesus 

[This famous folk tale — known the world over and told in 
almost every language and literature — ^is not narrated by Petron- 
ius in illiterate dialect (like the yarns told at Trimalchio's dinner), 
but is put into the mouth of a vagabond poet; it is cast in a 
popular, though romantic, storybook style.] 

1 Matrona quaedam Ephesi tam notae erat pudicitiae, ut 

2 vicinarum quoque gentium feminas ad spectaculum sui avo- 

3 caret. Haec ergo cum virum extulisset, non contenta 

4 (vulgari more) funus passis prosequi crinibus aut nudatum 

5 pectus in conspectu frequentiae plarigere, in conditorium 

6 etiam prosecuta est defunctum; positumque in hypogaeo 

7 graeco more corpus custodire ac flere totis noctibus diebus- 

8 que coepit. Sic afflictantem se ac mortem inedia persequen- 

9 tem non parentes potuerunt abducere, non propinqui; 

10 magistratus ultimo repulsi abierunt, complorataque singu- 

1 1 laris exempU f emina ab omnibus quintum iam diem sine ali- 

V '^ 

166 National or Classical Roman Literature 

12 mento trahebat. Assidebat aegrae fidissima ancilla, simul- 

13 que et lacrimas commodabat lugenti, et quotienscumque 

14 defecerat positum in monumento lumen renovabat. Una 

15 igitur in tota civitate fabula erat; solum illud affulsisse 

16 verum pudicitiae amorisque exemplum omnis ordinis 

17 homines confitebantur, cum interim imperator provinciae 

18 latrones iussit crucibus affigi secundum illam casulam, in 

19 qua recens cadaver matrona deflebat. Proxima ergo nocte, 

20 cum miles, qui cruces asservabat, ne quis ad sepulturam 

21 corpus detfaheret', notasset sibi lumen inter monumenta 

22 clarius fulgens et gemitum lugentis audisset, vitio gentis 

23 humanae conciipiit scire, quis aut quid faceret. Descendit 

24 igitur in conditorium, visaque pulcherrima muliere, primo 

25 quasi quodam monstro infernisque imaginibus turbatus 

26 substitit. Deinde ut et corpus iacentis conspexit et lacrimas 

27 consideravit f aciemque unguibus sectam, ratus (scilicet id 

28 quod erat) desiderium exstincti non posse feminam pati, at- 

29 tulit in monumentum cenulam suam coepitque hortari lugen- 

30 tem, ne perseveraret in dolore supervacuo, ac nihil profuturo 

31 gemitu pectus diduceret: omnium eundem esse exitum et 

32 idem domicilium — et cetera quibus exulceratae mentes ad 

33 sanitatem revocantur. At ilia, ignota consolatione, per- 

34 cussa laceravit vehementius pectus, ruptosque crines super 

35 corpus iacentis imposuit. Non recessit tamen miles, sed 

36 eadem exhortatione temptavit dare mulierculae cibum, 

37 donee ancilla (vini certe ab eo odore corrupt a) primum ipsa 

38 porrexit ad humanitatem invitantis victam manum; deinde, 

39 refecta potione et cibo, expugnare dominae pertinaciam 

40 coepit, et ''quid proderit" inquit ''hoc tibi, si soluta inedia 

41 fueris, si te vivam sepelieris, si antequam fata poscant, 

42 indemnatum spiritum effuderis? 

43 'Id cinerem aut manes credis sentire sepultos?' 

44 Vis tu reviviscere? Vis (discusso muliebri errore), quam 

45 diu licuerit, lucis commodis frui? Ipsum te iacentis corpus 

46 admonere debet, ut vivas." Nemo invitus audit, cum cogi- 

47 tur aut cibum sumere aut vivere. Itaque mulier, aliquot 

48 dierum abstinentia sicca, passa est frangi pertinaciam suam, 

Fifth Period 167 

49 nec minus avide replevit se cibo quam ancilla, quae prior 

60 victa est. Ceterum scitis, quid plerumque soleat temptare 

51 humanam satietatem. Quibus blanditiis impetraverat 

62 miles, ut matrona vellet vivere, isdem et^am pudicitiam eius 

63 aggressus est. Nec deformis aut infacundus iuvenis castae 

64 videbatur, conciliante gratiam ancilla ac subinde dicente : 

55 "placitone etiam pugnabis amori? 

56 nec venit in mentem, quorum consederis arvis?" 

57 Quid diutius moror? Ne banc quidem partem corporis 

68 mulier abstinuit, victorque miles utrumque persuasit. 

69 lacuerunt ergo una non tantum ilia nocte, qua nuptias fece- 

60 runt, sed postero etiam ac tertio die, praeclusis videlicet con- 

61 ditorii foribus, ut quisquis ex notis ignotisque ad monumen- 

62 tum venisset, putaret exspirasse super corpus viri pudicis- 

63 simam uxorem. Ceterum delectatus miles et forma 

64 mulieris et secreto, quicquid boni pe> facultates poterat, 

65 coemebat et prima statim nocte in monumentum ferebat. 

66 Itaque unius cruciarii parentes, ut viderunt laxatam 

67 custodiam, detraxere nocte pendentem, supremoque manda- 

68 verunt officio. At miles, circuinscriptus dum desidet, ut 

69 postero die vidit unam sine cadavere crucem, veritus suppli- 

70 cium, mulieri quid accidisset exponit: nec se exspectaturum 

71 iudicis sententiam, sed gladio ius dicturum ignaviae suae; 

72 commodaret ergo ilia perituro locum, et fatale conditorium 

73 familiari ac viro f aceret. Mulier non minus misericors quam 

74 pudica "ne istud" inquit "dii sinant, ut eodem tempore 

75 duorum mihi carissimorum hominum duo funera spectem. ^^ 

76 Malo mortuum impendere quam vivum occidere." Secun- 

77 dum banc orationem iubet ex area corpus mariti sui tolli 

78 atque illi, quae vacabat, cruci affigi. Usus est miles ingenio 

79 prudentissimae feminae, posteroque die populus miratus est, 

80 qua ratione mortuus isset in crucem. 

P. PAPINIUS STATIUS ^^^ ^-^^ ^"> 

(Born in 40 A.D.; active from 65-95 A.D.) 
Statins is a representative of the classic tradition, which was 

fast becoming academic and innocuous. He wrote two epics: 

168 National or Classical Roman Literature 

the Thehais, and the unfinished Achilleis — ^both treating well-worn 
themes of Greek mythology. His shorter poems on more modern 
subjects were published in a collection called Silvae, or Garland of 
Verses. Of these, the only justly famous one is his Ode to Sleep, 

1 Crimine quo merui, iuvenis placidissime divum, 

2 quove errore miser, donis ut solus egerem, 

3 Somne, tuis ? Tacet omne pecus volucresque f eraeque, 

4 et simulant fessos curvata cacumina somnos, 

5 nee trucibus fluviis idem sonus; occidit horror 

6 aequoris, et terris maria acclinata quiescunt. 

7 Septima iam rediens Phoebe mihi respicit aegras 

8 stare genas; totidem Oetaeae Paphiaeque renident 

9 lampades, et totiens nostros Tithonia questus 

10 praeterit et gelido spargit miser at a flagello. 

1 1 Unde ego sufficiam ? Non si mihi lumina mille, 

12 quae sacer alterna tantum statione tenebat 

13 Argus et baud umquam vigilabat corpore toto. 

14 At nunc heus aliquis, longa sub nocte puellae 

15 bracchia nexa tenens, ultro te, Somne, repellit. 

16 Inde veni nee te totas infundere pennas 

17 luminibus compello meis — hoc turba precetur 

18 laetior — extremo me tange cacumine virgae — 

19 sufficit — aut leviter suspenso poplite transi. 


(Born in 40 A.D.; active from 64-IO4 A.D.) 

His Life and Works 

Like Seneca, Martial was a Spanish provincial. Educated in 
his native town of Bllbilis, he came to Rome at about twenty-four. 
There he lived the life of a Grub Street poet, eking out a compe- 
tence from the bounty of various patrons for over thirty years. 
At the age of about sixty he returned to Spain, where he died a 
few years later. 

Martial's satiric wit was his chief asset, and the epigram his 
chosen medium of expression. Epi-gram is the exact Greek 

y3 -^ SJ 

»'^ - 

" > 

■^.S V 

V' '' 


^ ^- 



..\ . 


■^ v^^* 




A ... 



Fifth Period 169 

equivalent of in-scri'ption. The Greeks began at a very early- 
date to seek literary effect in both public and private inscriptions 
(on temples, commemorative monuments, graves, and so forth). 
Poetry was preferred to prose for this purpose. Inscriptions 
were generally in hexameter or elegiac verse, the neatest and 
briefest form being a single elegiac couplet — as in the famous 
inscription (or epitaph) commemorating Leonidas and his four 
hundred Spartans who fell at Thermopylae, which Cicero 
translated into Latin: ^^ ^ 

Die, hospes, Spartae nos te hic vidisse iacentis, 
dum Sanctis patriae legibus obsequimur. 

From real to imaginary inscriptions and epitaphs was but a 
step, thus bringing the epigram into the field of belles lettres. 
There its range of material was immediately extended, and its 
sole requirements were: brevity; descriptiveness, or pictorial ob- 
jectivity; and precision of form and style. By and large, any 
short poem that is not lyric is an epigram, thereby including in the 
term practically all types of occasional verse and much besides. 
Almost every classical Greek author turned out an epigram now 
and then, but not until the Hellenistic era did poets begin devot- 
ing themselves wholly to this form. Greek anthologies of the best 
epigrams began to be collected in the first century before Christ ; 
the final one, which includes the cream of all its predecessors and 
is known today as the Palatine Anthology, was compiled in the 
Middle Ages. No similar collection of Latin epigrams existed in 
ancient times. 

The Greek conception of the epigram may be illustrated in a 
general way by the following examples from English literature : 

An Epitaph, by W. Cowper 
[This is from the Greek anthology.] 

My name — ^my country — what are they to thee? 
What — ^whether base or proud, my pedigree? 
Perhaps I far surpassed all other men — 
Perhaps I fell below them all — what then? 



170 National or Classical Roman Literature 

Suffice it, stranger! that thou seest a tomb — 
Thou know'st its use — ^it hides — no matter whom. 

On Life and Deathj by R. Bland 
[This is after Archias.] 

Thracians! who howl around an infantas birth, 
And give the funeral hour to songs and mirth ! 
Well in your grief and gladness are expressed 
That life is labor and that death is rest. 

To Stella, by P. B. Shelley 
[This is after Plato.] 

Thou wert the morning star among the living, 

Ere thy fair light had fled; — 
Now, having died, thou art as Hesperus, giving 
New splendor to the dead. 

Friendship^ by R. W. Emerson 
He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare. 
And he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere. 

To Electra, by R. Herrick 
I dare not ask a kiss, No, no, the utmost share 

I dare not beg a smile. Of my desire shall be 

Lest having that, or this. Only to kiss that air 

I might grow proud the while. That lately kissed thee. 

A Child's Grace, by R. Herrick 
Here a little child I stand 
Heaving up my either hand; 
Cold as paddocks though they be. 
Here I lift them up to Thee, 
For a benison to fall 
On our meat and on us all. Amen. 

On a Fly Drinking Out of His Cup, by W. Oldys 
Busy, curious, thirsty fly! 
Drink with me and drink as I: 

Fifth Period 171 

Freely welcome to my cup, 
Could'st thou sip and sip it up: 
Make the most of life you may, 
Life is short and wears away. 

Both alike are mine and thine 
Hastening quick to their decline: 
Thine's a summer, mine's no more. 
Though repeated to threescore. 
Threescore summers, when they're gone. 
Will appear as short as one! 

Finis, by W. S. Landor 

I strove with none, for none was worth my strife. 
Nature I loved and, next to Nature, Art: 
I warm'd both hands before the fire of life; 
It sinks, and I am ready to depart. 

As an epigrammatist, Catullus was Martial's chief predecessor; 
his occasional verses served the latter as patterns of both style 
and meter (elegiac, hendecasyllabic, and limping iambic). 
Martial's verses, however, are more often satiric than those of 
any of his predecessors in this field, and have become the classic 
exemplar (in medieval and modern literature) of the ''biting'' 
epigram. Although this type of epigram predominates in 
English, its popularity has waned since the eighteenth century; 
as a weapon of political satire it has been supplanted by the 
pictorial cartoon. A few English examples of the satiric epigram 
will serve as an introduction to Martial : those satirizing individ- 
uals by name, however, are more in the manner of Catullus: 

On Charles II y by the Earl of Rochester 

Here lies our sovereign Lord the King, 

Whose word no man relies on, 
Who never said a foolish thing 

Nor ever did a wise one. 


172 National or Classical Roman Literature 

Bishop Felly by T. Brown 
I do not love thee, Doctor Fell; 
The reason why I cannot tell. 
But this I'm sure I know full well, 
I do not love thee. Doctor Fell. 

Epitaph for his Wife, by J. Dry den 
Here lies my wife! here let her lie! 
Now she's at rest and so am I. 

On a Miser, by W. Cowper 
They call thee rich — I deem thee poor. 
Since if thou dar'st not use thy store. 
But sav'st it only for thine heirs. 
The treasure is not thine, but theirs. 

Communism^ by E. Elliott 
What is a Communist? One who has yearnings 
For an equal division of unequal earnings; 
Idler or bungler, or both, he is willing 
To fork out his penny and pocket your shilling. 

Epigrams . 


Easy Elegiacs 
[a] A Candid Confession 
[My poems are not all perfect.] 

Sunt bona, sunt quaedam mediocria, sunt mala plura, 
quae legis hie. Aliter non fit, Avite, liber. 

[b] The Risk Is Over! 

Si memini, fuerant tibi quattuor, Aelia, dentes: 
expulit una duos tussis et una duos. 

lam secura potes totis tussire diebus: 
nil istic quod agat tertia tussis habet. 

Fifth Period 173 

[c] "I Do Not Love Thee, Doctor Fell!'' 

^..^ Non amo te, Sabidi, nee possum dicere quare: 
hoe tantum possum dicere, non amo te. 

[d] To A Plagiarist 

^ 1 Quem recitas, meus est, O Fidentine, libellus; 
sed male cum recitas, incipit esse tuus. 

[e] It Pays to Buy Them! 

Thais habet nigros, niveos Laecania dentis. 
Quae ratio est? Emptos haec habet, ilia suos. 

[f] True Grief Is Not Ostentatious 

Amissum non flet, cum sola est, Gellia patrem: 
si quis adest, iussae prosiliunt lacrimae. 

Non luget, quisquis laudari, Gellia, quaerit. 
lUe dolet vere, qui sine teste dolet. 

[g] The Doctor Turned Undertaker: An Easy Shift! \ 



Nuper erat medicus, nunc est vispillo Diaulus: ,v^ ^ 
quod vispillo facit, fecerat et medicus. ^ >^ n^ ^^* 

[h] Another Plagiarist 

Ut recitem tibi nostra rogas epigrammata. Nolo. ^ ^ -^^ 

Non audire, Celer, sed recitare cupis. ^^ 

[i] A Muffled Reader 

Quid recitaturus circumdas vellera coUo? 
Conveniunt nostris auribus ista magis. 

[j] To a Carping, But Cautious, Critic 

Cum tua non edas, carpis mea carmina, Laeli. 
Carpere vel noli nostra, vel ede tua. 

[k] ''Take, Oh Take Those Lips Away!'' 

Basia das aliis; aliis das, Postume, dextram. 
Dicis *'utrum mavis? elige." Malo manum. 


174 National or Classical Roman Literature 

[1] A Cheeky Request 
IQuintus asks Martial for a ^^ presentation^^ copy of his works.] 
Exigis ut donem nostros tibi, Quinte, libellos. 
Non habeo, sed habet bibliopola Tryphon. 
"Aes dabo pro nugis, et emam tua carmina sanus? 
Non" inquis '^faciam tarn fatue." Nee ego! 

[m] "Unto Every One That Hath Shall Be Given" 

I Semper pauper eris, si pauper es, Aemiliane. 

Dantur opes nullis nunc nisi divitibus. 

[n] On a "Butcher" 

[This doctor had killed so many patients that it wasn't even 
safe to dream of him !] 

Lotus nobiscum est, hilaris cenavit, et idem 

inventus mane est mortuus Andragoras. 
Tam subitae mortis causam, Faustine, requiris? 
In somnis medicum viderat Hermocraten. 

> [2] 

^^^ '^ Hendecasyllabics and Elegiacs 

[a] Apartment-House Life in Rome 

[Not to speak to one's next-door neighbor must have been 
something of a shock to Martial, who came from the country.] 

1 Vicinus meus est, manuque tangi 

2 de nostris Novius potest fenestris. 

3 Quis non invideat mihi putetque 

4 horis omnibus esse me beatum, 

5 iuncto cui liceat frui sodale? 

6 Tam longe est mihi quam Terentianus, 

7 qui nunc Niliacam regit Syenen. 

8 Non convivere, nee videre saltem, 

9 non audire licet, nee urbe tota 

10 quisquam est tam prope tam proculque nobis. 

1 1 Migrandum est mihi longius — vel illi. 

Fifth Period 175 

12 Vicinus Novio vel inquilinus 

13 sit, si quis Novium videre non vult. 

[b] On a Pet Lap Dog 
[This is a parody on Catullus.] 

1 "Issa" est passere nequior Catulli, 

2 "Issa'^ est purior osculo columbae, 

3 "Issa" est blandior omnibus puellis, 

4 "Issa" est carior Indicis lapillis, 

5 "Issa" est deliciae catella Publi. 

6 Hanc tu, si queritur, loqui putabis; 

7 sentit tristitiamque gaudiumque. 

8 Collo nixa, cubat capitque somnos, 

9 ut suspiria nulla sentiantur; 

10 et, desiderio coacta ventris, 

11 gutta pallia non fefellit ulla, 

12 sed blando pede suscitat, toroque 

13 deponi monet, et rogat levari. 

14 Castae tantus inest pudor catellae, 

15 ignorat Venerem; nee invenimus 

16 dignum tarn tenera virum puella. 

17 Hanc ne lux rapiat suprema totam, 

18 picta Publius exprimit tabella, 

19 in qua tarn similem videbis "Issam," 

20 ut sit tarn similis sibi nee ipsa. 

21 "Issam" denique pone cum tabella: 

22 aut utramque putabis esse veram, 

23 aut utramque putabis esse pictam. 

[c] To A Stingy Host 

1 Unguentum, fateor, bonum dedisti 

2 convivis here, sed nihil scidisti. 

3 Res salsa est bene olere et esurire. 

4 Qui non cenat et unguitur, Fabulle, 

5 hie vere mihi mortuus videtur. 


176 National or Classical Roman Literature 

crz:^ [d] "I Fear the Greeks, Bearing Gifts" 

1 Non donem tibi cur meos libellos, 

I ^ 2 oranti totiens et exigent!, 

i 3 miraris, Theodore? Magna causa est: 

^^^ 4 dones tu mihi ne tuos libellos. 

*^~^V [e] On a Naturalized Foreigner 

1 "Cinnam," Cinname, te iubes vocari. 

2 Non est hie, rogo, "Cinna," barbarismus? 

3 Tu si Furius ante dictus esses, 
v/' 4 "Fur'' ista ratione dicereris. 

[f] Epitaph on a Little Child 

1 Hanc tibi, Fronto pater, genetrix Flacilla, puellam 

2 oscula commendo deliciasque meas, 

3 parvola ne nigras horrescat Erotion umbras 

4 oraque Tartarei prodigiosa canis. 

5 Impletura fuit sextae modo frigora brumae, 

6 vixisset totidem ni minus ilia dies. 
^'V ^ ^ 7 Inter tam veteres ludat lasciva patronos 

/ J''"- 8 et nomen blaeso garriat ore meum. 

J, ^ 9 MoUia non rigidus caespes tegat ossa; nee illi, 

S 10 terra, gravis fueris: non fuit ilia tibi. 

(9Q-125 A.D.) 

The Silver Age. Chief Extant Authors; 
Tacitus, Pliny, Juvenal, and Suetonius. 

The Sixth Period 

Under its '^five good emperors" — Nerva (96-98), Trajan (98- 
117), Hadrian (117-138), Antoninus Pius (138-161), and Marcus 
Aurelius (161-180) — , the Roman Empire enjoyed a relatively 
high degree of domestic peace and stable government. Our con- 
cern, however, is only with the first three reigns, which comprise 
the last genuine manifestation of national Roman literature. 
This period of literature was a throwback — a revival of Augustan 
ideals and standards — and reached its height in the reign of 
Trajan, a strong and able administrator who enlisted the sounder 
and more honest elements in Roman society to work for the 
government. The voices now raised for a last time in creative 
literature were largely those which the past seventy-five years^ 
tyranny and oppression had silenced. But these were only a 
remainder — a last echo — , for national Roman literature was 
inevitably approaching its end whether the government was stable 
and enlightened or unstable and oppressive, and men everywhere 
—Romans and Greeks alike — ^were turning to new and forward- 
looking concepts of life. The traditions of Greco-Roman civiliza- 
tion, based on a democratic but provincial organization of society, 
had ceased to be a living force; and the Latin race also, having 
sacrificed its own best blood to civil war, proscription, and 
tyranny, had exhausted itself. Nevertheless, this first quarter of 
the second century still retained a small circle of men who could 
employ the traditional Greco-Roman forms of expression with 
sufficient vigor to earn for their epoch the epithet of ''silver age*' 
— as compared with the ''golden age" of Augustus. 


180 National or Classical Roman Literature 

(Born in S5; active from 90-118.) \ 

His Life and Works 

Little is known about the life of Tacitus other than the bare 
facts of his public career, which in itself is an excellent illustration 
of the curious unreality and futility of the political life that still 
went on at Rome — a phantom republican government existing 
side by side with the practical and business-like bureaucratic 
administration of the empire under a monarchy. While Trajan 
ruled the destinies of the vast Roman Empire, the senate and 
republican magistrates still strutted their little hour upon the 
stage. Like other representatives of conservative Roman fami- 
lies, Tacitus was trained for the career of republican orator and 
statesman. As an orator he pleaded successfully and, under the 
mild and beneficent rule of Trajan, even had the satisfaction of 
occasionally devoting his eloquence to the cause of honest ad- 
ministration and the suppression of graft. In the course of his 
political career, Tacitus held the traditional offices; he was 
praetor under Domitian, consul under Trajan, and finally (from 
112-116) governor of a province — the only post of real respon- 
sibility to which such a career led. It goes without saying that his 
administration of the province of Asia was honest and capable. 

The variety and extent of Tacitus* literary output indicate how 
little of his time and energy the political career at Rome demanded; 
for although there have been those (like Cicero) who combined 
voluminous literary production with a strenuous and active life, 
Tacitus devoted himself to a type of historical writing that called 
for long and painstaking preparation. Moreover he himself tells 
us that political life under the tyranny of Domitian was a travesty; 
honest office holders kept out of the limelight as much as possible. 
He preferred pussyfooting to toadying — and a precarious sort of 
toadying, at that! 

The works of Tacitus fall into two groups, the oratorical and 
the historical. The first group includes his published speeches 

> His praenomen is unknown. 

^ ^, \^.^j\t>v I v-^ .,-y --'' 

Sixth Period 181 j 

(none of which are preserved), and his youthful dialogue, on the 
causes of the decline of oratory. The latter, written in the ! 

Ciceronian tradition, is the best of its kind in extant Latin litera- 
ture. The speakers are well characterized, the discussion is 
thorough, and the debate sprightly. i 

The second group was published in the reign of Trajan; it in- , . , „ ; 
eludes: (1) the Germaniaj an essay on the manners and customs of y^^ u ^-J 
the Germans — intensely interesting because it is the earliest full v.^^-* ^-^^ 
description of the Teutonic peoples; (2) the Biography of Cn. ~" ^w^ ' 
, Julius Agricola^ Tacitus' father-in-law; and (3) the Histories ^ ^ ^\« 

and Annals J the two great historical works that recount, in 
unique style and spirit, the history of the Roman Empire from 
Tiberius to Domitian (14-96 A.D.). Though published first, the 
Histories covered the latter part of the period, from 68 to 96; the 
Annals J the earlier part, from 14 to 68. Only a portion of both 
works is preserved. ' ' * ^' 

Tacitus was a stylist; to a degree impossible for an English j^^ 
writer, he gradually developed a unique and peculiar diction — ^^^ ^^^j Vvr^vvV^ 
for English, lacking the plastic qualities of Latin, is incapable of . v,. v J*^'-* 
so giving itself to the idiosyncrasies of an author. Naturally, '••< , ' 

his style was artificial and a far cry from the spoken language; ^\5 . . -^ ' 

but it was powerful, terse, dramatic, and replete with subtle -^-v* "^ < i 

connotations. Above all, Tacitus was filled with a suppressed v.'' w ^w*-^^^ 
bitterness toward the tyrannical rulers of the period he depicted. - "*^ ^' ' 
Although his aims and standards, like those of Livy, were not 
"scientific" in any sense acceptable to a modern historian, he n>-' ^ < 

strove — with all the literary power at his command — to paint a ' ^ \(,..-^ 
vivid and dramatic pageant of Roman life under the Caesars of v\ -^ ''^.^^\,v; 
the first century. Whereas Livy had taken pride in recounting i.V'^'' 1 

the hero tales of Roman history, Tacitus, with shame and bitter- 
ness, depicted the degradation of the Roman ideal; no historian 
rhas ever drawn a picture more lurid! Still Tacitus has the arti- 
fice of the pleader — rather than rail at those he would condemn 
before posterity, he maintains an impartial attitude, but lets 
slip no opportunity for subtle innuendo. Facts are not distorted, ^ -^ \ 
but the reader's understanding and interpretation of the chief 
actors' motives are colored by this constant insinuation. 

182 National or Classical Roman Literature 
The Germania 

As time went on, the Romans had every reason to be more and 
more interested in the Nordic peoples, across whose boundaries 
Roman arms had rarely passed undefeated. The Teutons were 
the antithesis of the Latins in so many respects that any descrip- 
tion of their manners and customs — their folkways — was bound 
to have the perennial charm of strange tales of travelers and 
adventurers "beyond the seas/^ To this appeal Tacitus added 
another, inherent in the moral teaching of the Stoics — namely, the 
idealization of the savage, untutored and untainted by civiliza- 
tion. An interesting parallel to this is the similar idealization of 
the American Indian in eighteenth-century literature, later 
echoed in the noble Mohicans of James Fenimore Cooper. 

The Germania appeals to the modern reader, moreover, as a 
notable exception to that remote, or provincial, quality character- 
istic of Roman historians; it is a unique bridge between the an- 
cient and modern worlds, for Tacitus unwittingly wrote of the 
future. Here alone we have a Roman's reaction to the Teuton, 
and — by anticipation — to the Anglo-Saxon and to ourselves ! In 
these pages we partly see om-selves through Roman eyes. 


The Origin of the German Race 

1 Ipsos Germanos indigenas crediderim minimeque alia- 

2 rum gentium adventibus et hospitiis mixtos, quia nee terra 

3 olim, sed classibus advehebantur qui mutare sedes quae- 

4 rebant, et immensus ultra (utque sic dixerim, adversus) 

5 Oceanus raris ab orbe nostro navibus aditur. Quis porro, 

6 praeter periculum horridi et ignoti maris, Asia aut Africa aut 

7 Italia relicta Germaniam peteret, informem terris, asperam- 

8 caelo, tristem cultu aspectuque, nisi cui patria sit? 

9 Celebrant carminibus antiquis, quod unum apud illos 

10 memoriae et annalium genus est, Tuistonem deum, terra 

11 editum, et fiUum Mannum originem gentis conditoresque. 

Sixth Period 183 

12 Manno tris filios assignant, e quorum nominibus proximi 

13 Oceano Ingaevones, medii Herminones, ceteri Istaevones 

14 vocentur. Quidam, ut in licentia vetustatis, pluris deo ortos 

15 plurisque gentis appellationes, Marsos Gambrivios Suebos 

16 Vandilios affirmant, eaque vera et antiqua nomina. Cete- 

17 rum Germaniae vocabulum recens et nuper additum, quo- 

18 niam qui primi Rhenum transgressi Gallos expulerint ac 

19 nunc Tungri, tunc Germani vocati sint : ita nationis nomen, 

20 non gentis evaluisse paulatim, ut omnes primum a victore ob 

21 metum, mox etiam a se ipsis, invento nomine, Germani 

22 vocarentur. 

23 Ipse eorum opinioni accedo, qui Germaniae populos, 

24 nuUis aliarum nationum conubiis infectos, propriam et 

25 sinceram et tantum sui similem gentem extitisse arbitran- 

26 tur. Unde habitus quoque corporum, quamquam in tanto 

27 hominum numero, idem omnibus: truces et caerulei oculi, 

28 rutilae comae, magna corpora et tantum ad impetum valida: 

29 laboris atque operum non eadem patientia; minimeque sitim 

30 aestumque tolerare, frigora atque inediam caelo solove ad- 

31 sueverunt. 

The Land and Its Products 

1 Terra etsi aliquanto specie differt, in universum tamen 

2 aut silvis horrida aut paludibus foeda, umidior qua Gallias, 

3 ventosior qu4 Noricum ac Pannoniam aspicit; satis ferax, 

4 frugiferarum arborum impatiens, pecorum fecunda, sed ple- 
6 rumque improcera. Ne armentis quidem suus honor aut 

6 gloria frontis: numero gaudent, eaequ^ solae et gratissimae 

7 opes sunt. Argent um et aurum propitiine an irati di negave- 

8 rint, dubito. Nee tamen affirmaverim nullam Germaniae 

9 venam argentum aurum ve gignere: quis enim scrutatus est? 

10 Possessione et usu haud perinde afficiuntur. Est videre 

11 apud illos argentea vasa, legatis et principibus eorum mu- 

12 neri data, non in aha vilitate quam quae humo finguntur; 

13 quamquam proximi ob usum commerciorum aurum et argen- 

14 tum in pretio habent formasque quasdam nostrae pecuniae 

184 National or Classical Roman Literature 

15 agnoscunt atque eligunt: interiores simplicius et antiquius 

16 permutationemerciumutuntur. Pecuniam probant veterem 

17 etdiunotam,serratosbigatosque. Argentum quoque magis 

18 quam aurum sequuntur, nulla affectione animi, sed quia 

19 numerus argenteorum facilior usui est promiscua ac vilia 

20 mercantibus. 


Warp ABE 

1 Ne ferrum quidem superest, sicut ex genere telorum 

2 coUigitur. Rari gladiis aut maioribus lanceis utuntur: has- 

3 tas vel ipsorum vocabulo frameas, gerunt angusto et brevi 

4 ferro, sed ita acri et ad usum habili, ut eodem telo, prout ra- 

5 tioposcit,velcommmusvelemmuspugiient. Etequesq.ui- 

6 dem scuto frameaque contentus est, pedites et missilia 

7 spargunt, pluraque singuli, atque in immensum vibrant, 

8 nudi aut sagulo leves. Nulla cultus iactatio; scuta tantum 

9 lectissimis coloribus distlnguunt. Faucis loricae, vix urn al- 
io terive cassis aut galea. Equi non forma, non velocitate 

1 1 conspicui. Sed nee variare gyros in morem nostrum docen- 

12 tur : in rectum aut uno flexu dextros agunt, ita comuncto orbe, 

13 ut nemo posterior sit. In universum aestimanti plus penes 

14 peditem roboris ; eoque mixti proeliantur, apta et congruente 
16 ad equestrem pugnam velocitate peditum, quos ex omm lu- 

16 ventute delectos ante aciem locant. Definitur et numerus: 

17 centeni ex singulis pagis sunt, idque ipsum inter suos vocan- 

18 tur, et quod primo numerus fuit, iam nomen et honor est. 

19 Aciespercuneoscomponitur. Cedereloco.dummodorursus 

20 instes, consilii quam formidinis arbitrantur. Corpora 

21 suorumetiamindubiisproeliisreferunt. Scutum reliquisse 

22 praecipuum flagitium, nee aut sacris adesse aut concilium 

23 inire ignominioso fas; multique superstites beUorum m- 

24 famiam laqueo finierunt. 


1 Reges ex nobilitate, duces ex virtute sumunt. Nee regi- 

2 bus infinita aut libera potestas; et duces exemplo potms 

Sixth Period 185 

3 quam imperio, si prompti, si conspicui, si ante aciem agant, 

4 admiratione praesunt. Ceterum neque animadvertere neque 

5 vincire, ne verberare quidem nisi sacerdotibus permissum, 

6 non quasi in poenam nee ducis iussu, sed velut deo impe- 

7 rante, quern adesse bellantibus credunt. Effigiesque et signa 

8 quaedam detracta lucis in proelium ferunt; quodque prae- 

9 cipuum fortitudinis incitamentum est, non casus nee for- 

10 tuita conglobatio turmam aut cuneum facit, sed familiae et 

11 propinquitates; et in proximo pignora, unde feminarum 

12 ululatus audiri, unde vagitus infantium. Hi cuique sanctis- 

13 simi testes, hi maximi laudatores: ad matres, ad coniuges 

14 vulnera ferunt; nee illae numerare aut exigere plagas pavent, 

15 cibosque et hortamina pugnantibus gestant. 

16 Memoriae proditur, quasdam acies (inclinatas iam et 

17 labantes) a feminis restitutas constantia precum et obiectu 

18 pectorum et monstrata comminus captivitate, quam longe 

19 impatientius feminarum suarum nomine timent, adeo ut effi- 

20 cacius obligentur animi civitatum, quibus inter obsides puel- 

21 lae quoque nobiles imperantur. Inesse quin etiam sanctum 

22 aliquid et providum putant, nee aut consilia earum asper- 

23 nantur aut responsa neglegunt. Vidimus sub divo Vespa- 

24 siano Velaedam diu apud plerosque numinis loco habitam; 

25 sed et olim Albrunam et compluris alias venerati sunt, non 

26 adulatione nee tamquam facerent deas. 

Religion and Oracles 

1 Deorum maxime Mercurium colunt, cui certis diebus 

2 humanis quoque hostiis litare fas habent. Herculem ac 

3 Martem concessis animalibus placant. Pars Sueborum et 

4 Isidi sacrificat: unde causa et origo peregrino sacro, parum 

5 comperi, nisi quod signum ipsum, in modum liburnae figura- 

6 tum, docet advectam religionem. Ceterum nee cohibere 

7 parietibus deos neque in uUam humani oris speciem assimu- 

8 lare ex magnitudine caelestium arbitrantur : lucos ac nemora 

186 National or Classical Roman Literature 

9 consecrant deorumque nominibus appellant secretum illud, 

10 quod sola reverentia vident. 

11 Auspicia sortesque ut qui maxime observant: sortium 

12 consuetudo simplex. Virgairi frugiferae arbori decisam in 

13 surculos amputant eosque notis quibusdam discretos super 

14 candidam vestem temere ac fortuito spargunt. Mox, si 

15 publice consultetur, sacerdos civitatis, sin privatim, ipse 

16 pater familiae, precatus deos caelumque suspiciens ter sin- 

17 gulos toUit, sublatos secundum impressam ante notam inter- 

18 pretatur. Si prohibuerunt, nulla de eadem re in eundem 

19 diem consultatio; sin permissum, auspiciorum adhuc fides 

20 exigitur. Et illud quidem etiam hie notum, avium voces 

21 volatusque interrogare: proprium gentis equorum quoque 

22 praesagia ac monitus experiri. Publice aluntur isdem ne- 

23 moribus ac lucis, candidi et nuUo mortali opere contacti; 

24 quos pressos sacro curru sacerdos ac rex vel princeps civitatis 

25 comitantur hinnitusque ac fremitus observant. Nee ulli 

26 auspicio maior fides, non solum apud plebem, sed apud 

27 proceres; sacerdotes enim ministros deorum, illos conscios 

28 putant. Est et alia observatio auspiciorum, qua gravium 

29 bellorum eventus explorant. Eius gentis, cum qua bellum 

30 est, captivum quoquo modo inter ceptum cum electo popu- 

3 1 larium suorum, patriis quemque armis, committunt : victoria 

32 huius vel illius pro praeiudicio accipitur. 

Lords and Henchmen 

[These old Teutonic customs are the germs of medieval knight- 
hood and the feudal system.] 

1 Nihil . . . neque publicae neque privatae rei nisi armati 

2 agunt. Sed arma sumere non ante cuiquam moris, quam 

3 civitas suffecturum probaverit. Tum in ipso concilio vel 

4 principum aliquis vel pater vel propinqui scuto frameaque 

5 iuvenem ornant: haec apud illos toga, hie primus iuventae 

6 honos; ante hoc domus pars videntur, mox rei publicae. 

7 Insignis nobilitas aut magna patrum merita principis 

Sixth Period 187 

8 dignationem etiam adulescentulis assignant: ceteris robus- 

9 tioribus ac iam pridem probatis aggregantur, nee rubor inter 

10 comites aspici. Gradus quin etiam ipse comitatus habet, 

11 iudicio eius quem sectantur; magnaque et comitum aemu- 

12 latio, quibus primus apud principem suum locus, et princi- 

13 pum, cui plurimi et acerrimi comites. Haec dignitas, hae 

14 vires, magno semper electorum iuvenum globo circumdari, 

15 in pace decus, in bello praesidium. Nee solum in sua 

16 gente cuique, sed apud finitimas quoque civitates id nomen, 

17 ea gloria est, si numero ac virtute comitatus emineat; 

18 expetuntur enim legationibus et muneribus ornantur et 

19 ipsa plerumque fama bella profligant. 

20 Cum ventum in aciem, turpe principi virtute vinci, turpe 

21 comitatui virtutem principis non adaequare. Iam vero in- 

22 fame in omnem vitam ac probrosum superstitem principi 

23 suo ex acie recessisse: ilium defendere, tueri, sua quoque 

24 fortia facta gloriae eius assignare praecipuum sacramentum 

25 est : principes pro victoria pugnant, comites pro principe. 

26 Si ci vitas, in qua orti sunt, longa pace et otio torpeat, 

27 plerique nobilium adulescentium petunt ultro eas nationes, 

28 quae tum bellum aliquod gerunt, quia et ingrata genti 

29 quies et f acilius inter ancipitia clarescunt magnumque comi- 

30 tatum non nisi vi belloque tueare: exigunt enim a principis 

31 sui liberalitate ilium bellatorem equum, illam cruentam 

32 victricemque frameam; nam epulae et quamquam incompti, 

33 largi tamen, apparatus pro stipendio cedunt. Materia muni- 

34 ficentiae per bella et raptus. Nee arare terram aut ex- 

35 spectare annum tam facile persuaseris quam vocare hostem 

36 et vulnera mereri. Pigrum quin immo et iners videtur 

37 sudore acquirere quod possis sanguine par are. 

38 Quotiens bella non ineunt, non multum venatibus, plus 

39 per otium transigunt, dediti somno ciboque, fortissimus 

40 quisque ac bellicosissimus nihil agens, delegata domus et 

4 1 penatium et agr orum cur a f emi nis senibusque et infirmissimo 

42 cuique ex familia: ipsi hebent, mira diversitate naturae, 

43 cum idem homines sic ament inertiam et oderint quietem. 

44 Mos est civitatibus ultro ac viritim conferre principibus 

188 National or Classical Roman Literature 

45 vel armentorum vel frugum, quod pro honore acceptum 

46 etiam necessitatibus subvenit. Gaudent praecipue fini- 

47 timarum gentium donis, quae non modo a singulis, sed et 

48 publice mittuntur, electi equi, magna arma, phalerae tor- 

49 quesque; iam et pecuniam accipere docuimus. 


1 NuUas Germanorum populis urbes habitari satis notum 

2 est, ne pati quidem inter se iunctas sedes. Colunt discreti 

3 ac diversi, ut fons, ut campus, ut nemus placuit. Vicos 

4 locant non in nostrum morem conexis et cohaerentibus 

5 aedificiis: suam quisque domum spatio circumdat, sive 

6 adversus casus ignis remedium sive inscitia aedificandi. 

7 Ne caementorum quidem apud illos aut tegularum usus: 

8 materia ad omnia utuntur informi et citra speciem aut 

9 delectationem. Quaedam loca diligentius illinunt terra ita 

10 pura ac splendente, ut picturam ac liniamenta colorum 

11 imitetur. Solent et subterraneos specus aperire eosque 

12 multo insuper fimo onerant, suffugium hiemis et recep- 

13 taculum frugibus, quia rigorem frigorum eiusmodi loci 

14 molliunt, et si quando hostis advenit, aperta populatur, 

15 abdita autem et defossa aut ignorantur aut eo ipso fallunt, 

16 quod quaerenda sunt. 



1 Tegumen omnibus sagum fibula aut, si desit, spina 

2 consertum : cetera intecti totos dies iuxta f ocum atque 

3 ignem agunt. Locupletissimi veste distinguuntur, non flui- 

4 tante, sicut Sarmatae ac Parthi, sed stricta et singulos 

5 artus exprimente. Gerunt et ferarum pelles, proximi ripae 

6 neglegenter, ulteriores exquisitius, ut quibus nuUus per 

7 commercia cultus. Eligunt feras et detracta velamina spar- 

8 gunt maculis pellibusque beluarum, quas exterior Oceanus 

9 atque ignotum mare gignit. Nee alius feminis quam viris 
10 habitus, nisi quod feminae saepius lineis amictibus velantur 

Sixth Period 189 

11 eosque purpura variant, partemque vestitus superioris in 

12 manicas non extendunt, nudae brachia ac lacertos; sed 

13 et proxima pars pectoris patet. 


1 Quamquam severa illic matrimonia, nee uUam morum 

2 partem magis laudaveris. Nam prope soli barbarorum sin- 

3 gulis uxoribus contenti sunt, exceptis admodum paucis, qui 

4 non libidine, sed ob nobilitatem pluribus nuptiis ambiuntur. 

5 Dotem non uxor marito, sed uxori maritus offert. Inter- 

6 sunt parentes et propinqui ac munera probant, munera 

7 non ad delicias muliebres quaesita nee quibus nova nupta 

8 comatur, sed boves et frenatum equum et scutum cum fra- 

9 mea gladioque. In haec munera uxor accipitur, atque in- 

10 vicem ipsa armorum aliquid viro affert; hoc maximum vin- 

11 culum, haec arcana sacra, hos coniugales deos arbitrantur. 

12 Ne se mulier extra virtutum cogitationes extraque bellorum 

13 casus putet, ipsis incipientis matrimonii auspiciis admonetur 

14 venire se laborum periculorumque sociam; idem in pace, 

15 idem in proeHo passuram ausuramque: hoc iuncti boves, hoc 

16 paratus equus, hoc data arma denuntiant. Sic vivendum, 

17 sic pereundum: accipere se quae liberis inviolata ac digna 

1 8 reddat , quae nurus accipiant rursusque ad nepotes ref erantur . 

19 Ergo saepta pudicitia agunt, nulHs spectaculorum illece- 

20 bris, nullis conviviorum irritationibus corruptae. Littera- 

21 rum secreta viri pariter ac feminae ignorant. Paucissima in 

22 tam numerosa gente adulteria, quorum poena praesens et 

23 maritis permissa: abscisis crinibus nudatam coram propin- 

24 quis expellit domo maritus ac per omnem vicum verbere agit ; 

25 publicatae enim pudicitiae nulla venia: non forma, non 

26 aetate, non opibus maritum invenerit. Nemo enim illic vitia 

27 ridet, nee corrumpere et corrumpi saeculum vocatur. Melius 

28 quidem adhuc eae civitates, in quibus tantum virgines nu- 

29 bunt et cum spe votoque uxoris semel transigitur. ^ Sicunum 

30 accipiunt maritum quo modo unum corpus unamque vitam, 

190 National or Classical Roman Literature 

31 ne ulla cogitatio ultra, ne longior cupiditas — ne maritum, 

32 sed tamquam matrimonium ament. Numerum liberorum 

33 finire aut quemquam ex adgnatis necare flagitium habetur, 

34 plusque ibi boni mores valent quam alibi bonae leges. 

Family Relationships 

1 In omni domo nudi ac sordidi in hos artus, in haec 

2 corpora, quae miramur, excrescunt. Sua quemque mater 

3 uberibus alit, nee ancillis aut nutricibus delegantur. Domi- 

4 num ac servum nullis educationis deliciis dignoscas: inter 

5 eadem pecora, in eadem humo degunt, donee aetas separet 

6 ingenuos, virtus agnoscat. Sera iuvenum venus, eoque 

7 inexhausta pubertas. Nee virgines festinantur; eadem iu- 

8 venta, similis proceritas: pares validaeque miscentur, ac ro- 

9 bora parentum liberi referunt. Sororum filiis idem apud 

10 avunculum qui apud patrem honor. Quidam sanctiorem 

11 artioremque hunc nexum sanguinis arbitrantur et in acci- 

12 piendis obsidibus magis exigunt, tamquam et animum fir- 

13 mius et domum latius teneant. Heredes tamen successores- 

14 que sui cuique liberi, et nullum testamentum. Si liberi non 

15 sunt, proximus gradus in possessione fratres, patrui, avun- 

16 culi. Quanto plus propinquorum, quanto maior afl&nium 

17 numerus, tanto gratiosior senectus; nee ulla orbitatis pretia. 

Feuds — Hospitality 

1 Suscipere tam inimicitias (seu patris seu propinqui) quam 

2 amicitias necesse est; nee implacabiles durant: luitur enim 

3 etiam homicidium certo armentorum ac pecorum numero 

4 recipitque satisfactionem universa domus, utiliter in publi- 
6 cum, quia periculosiores sunt inimicitiae iuxta libertatem. 

6 Convictibus et hospitiis non alia gens efPusius indulget. 

7 Quemcumque mortalium arcere tecto nefas habetur; pro 

8 fortuna quisque apparatis epulis excipit. Cum defecere, qui 

9 mod6 hospes fuerat, monstrator hospitii et comes; proxi- 

Sixth Period 191 

10 mam domum non invitati adeunt. Nee interest: pari 

11 humanitate accipiuntur. Notum ignotumque, quantum ad 

12 ius hospitis, nemo discernit. Abeunti, si quid poposcerit, 

13 concedere moris; et poscendi invicem eadem facilitas. 

14 Gaudent muneribus, sed nee data imputant nee acceptis 

15 obligantur. 


Daily Life — Food and Drink 

1 Statim e somno, quem plerumque in diem extrahunt, 

2 lavantur, saepius calida, ut apud quos plurimum hiems 

3 oecupat. Lauti cibum capiunt: separatae singulis sedes et 

4 sua cuique mensa. Tum ad negotia nee minus saepe ad 
6 convivia procedunt armati. Diem noctemque continuare 

6 potando nulli probrum. Crebrae, ut inter vinolentos, rixae 

7 raro eonviciis, saepius caede et vulneribus transiguntur. 

8 Sed et de reconciliandis invicem inimicis et iungendis affinita- 

9 tibus et asciscendis principibus, de pace denique ac bello 

10 plerumque in conviviis consultant, tamquam nullo magis 

11 tempore aut ad simplices cogitationes pateat animus aut ad 

12 magnas incalescat. Gens non astuta nee callida aperit ad- 

13 hue secreta pectoris licentia ioci; ergo detect a et nuda om- 

14 nium mens. Postera die retraetatur, et salva utriusque 

15 temporis ratio est: deliberant, dum fingere nesciunt, consti- 

16 tuunt, dum errare non possunt. 

17 Potui humor ex hordeo aut frumento, in quandam simili- 

18 tudinem vini corruptus: proximi ripae et vinum mercantur. 

19 Cibi simplices, agrestia poma, recens fera, aut lac concretum : 

20 sine apparatu, sine blandimentis expellunt famem. Ad- 

21 versus sitim non eadem temperantia. Si indulseris ebrietati 

22 suggerendo quantum concupiscunt, haud minus facile vitiis 

23 quam armis vincentur. 


Sports and Gambling 

1 Genus speetaculorum unum at que in omni coetu idem. 

2 Nudi iuvenes, quibus id ludicrum est, inter gladios se a-tque 

3 infestas frameas saltu iaciunt. Exercitatio artem paravit, 

192 National or Classical Roman Literature 

4 ars decorem, non in quaestum tamen aut mercedem: 

5 quamvis audacis lasciviae pretium est voluptas spectantium. 

6 Aleam (quod mirere) sobrii inter seria exercent, tanta lu- 

7 crandi perdendive temeritate, ut, cum omnia defecerunt, 

8 extremo ac novissimo iactu de libertate ac de corpore con- 

9 tendant. Victus voluntariam servitutem adit: quamvis 

10 iuvenior, quamvis robustior alligari se ac venire patitur. 

11 Ea est in re prava pervicacia; ipsi fidem vocant. Servos 

12 condicionis huius per commercia tradunt, ut se quoque 

13 pudore victoriae exsolvant. 

Burial Customs 

1 Funerum nulla ambitio: id solum observatur, ut corpora 

2 clarorum virorum certis lignis crementur. Struem rogi nee 

3 vestibus nee odoribus cumulant: sua cuique arma, quo- 

4 rundam igni et equus adicitur. Sepulcrum caespes erigit: 

5 monumentorum arduum et operosum honorem ut gravem 

6 defunctis aspernantur. Lamenta ac lacrimas cito, dolorem 

7 et tristitiam tarde ponunt. Feminis lugere honestum est, 

8 viris meminisse. 




^ ^^^""'' (Born in 61] active from 90-113.) .^) 

His Life and Works 

Pliny the Younger (as he is called to distinguish him from his 

>^ -^ maternal uncle and adoptive father, Pliny the Elder) was the 

friend and associate of Tacitus. What has been said concerning 

^. ^**^ the education and public career of Tacitus applies equally well to 

^^v>"'^ ^ Pliny, who held the consulship under Trajan (in 100), and was 

c^^ "^ governor of the provinces of Pontus and Bithynia, in Asia Minor 

,N (from 112-113, or thereabouts). As a pleader, Pliny was several 

times associated with Tacitus on important cases. His only 

speech preserved to us, however, is a formal address; this was 

delivered in the senate when Pliny assumed the consulship, and is 

a tedious panegyric of Trajan. Pliny ^s further literary work com- 

Sixth Period 193 

prised occasional verses, which have all perished; and letters, 
upon which his fame rests. 

Pliny and Tacitus were dissimilar in both character and 
personality. Tacitus was presumably a pessimist; whereas 
Pliny, whom we know intimately from his letters, was not only a 
cheerful optimist, but also was rather gullible, decidedly vain, 
and always something of a prig. As often happens with men of 
large inherited wealth and puritanical habits, Pliny never wholly 
grasped life's realities, because he never had to grapple with some 
of its most fundamental problems., Nevertheless he is one of the 
most charming of dilettanti^ giving us — in spite of his precious- 
ness — a more agreeable and wholesome picture, a more varied and 
^' human" panorama, of Roman society than any other writer. 
Thrice married, but childless, he found the enduring satisfactions 
of life to be the cultivation of friendships, the bestowal of bene- 
factions, and the pursuit of literary fame. 



[The first letter in his nine books of published correspondence 
reveals something of Pliny's literary methods.] 

1 C. Plinius Septicio suo S. Frequenter hortatus es ut ^^^x.^J^ 

2 epistulas, si quas paulo curatius scripsissem, colligerem ^ 

3 publicaremque. Collegi — non servato temporis ordine 

4 (neque enim historiam componebam), sed ut quaeque in ^^ 

5 manus venerat. Superest ut nee te consilii nee me paeniteat ^' \ 

6 obsequii. Ita enim fiet ut eas, quae adhuc neglectae iacent, • 

7 requiram; et si quas addidero, non supprimam. Vale. 

To a dilatory correspondent: 

1 C. Plinius Fabio Iusto suo S. Olim mihi nullas epistu- 

2 las mittis. "Nihil est" inquis "quod scribam." At hoc 



194 National or Classical Roman Literature 

3 ipsum scribe, nihil esse quod scribas — vel solum illud, unde 

4 incipere priores solebant, si vales, bene est, ego valeo. Hoc 

5 mihi sufficit; est enim maximum. Ludere me putas? 

6 Serio peto. Fac sciam, quid agas — quod sine sollicitudine 

7 summa nescire non possum. Vale. 

To another dilatory correspondent: 

1 C. Plinitjs Paulino suo S. Irascor, nee liquet mihi an 

2 debeam, sed irascor. Scis quam sit amor iniquus interdum, 

3 impotens saepe, /it/cpatrtos semper. Haec tamen causa 

4 magna est, nescio an iusta: sed ego, tamquam non minus 

5 iusta quam magna sit, graviter irascor, quod a te tam diu 

6 litterae nuUae. Exorare me potes uno modo, si nunc saltem 

7 plurimas et longissimas miseris. Haec mihi sola excusatio 

8 vera, ceterae falsae videbuntur. Non sum auditurus non 

9 eram Romae vel occupatior eram: illud enim nee di sinant, 

1 ut infirmior. Ipse ad villam partim studiis partim desidia 

11 fruor, quorum utrumque ex otio nascitur. Vale. 

An appeal for news: 

1 C. Plinius Tatiano suo S. Quid agis? Quid acturus 

2 es? Ipse vitam iucundissimam, id est otiosissimam, vivo. 

3 Quo fit ut scribere longiores epistulas nolim, velim legere: 

4 illud tamquam delicatus, hoc tamquam otiosus. Nihil est 

5 enim aut pigrius delicatis aut curiosius otiosis. Vale. 

In reply to a friendly and enthusiastic letter: 

1 C. Plinius Calpurnio Macro suo S. Bene est mihi, 

2 quia tibi bene est. Habes uxorem tecum, habes filium; 

3 frueris mari, fontibus, viridibus, agro, villa amoenissima — 

4 neque enim dubito esse amoenissimam, in qua se composue- 

5 rat homo felicior, antequam felicissimus fieret. Ego in 

6 Tuscis et venor et studeo, quae interdum alternis, interdum 

Sixth Period 195 

7 simul, facio; nee tamen adhuc possum pronuntiare utrum 

8 sit difficilius, capere aliquid an scribere. Vale. 


On how to hunt and study at the same time: 

1 C. Plinius Cornelio Tacito sue S. Ridebis, et licet 

2 rideas. Ego — ille quem nosti — apros tres et quidem pul- 

3 cherrimos cepi. ''Ipse?'^ inquis. Ipse! — non tamen ut 

4 omnino ab inertia mea et quiete discederem. Ad retia 

5 sedebam; erat in proximo non venabulum aut lancea, sed 

6 stilus et pugillares; meditabar aliquid enotabamque, ut, si 

7 manus vacuas, plenas tamen ceras reportarem. Non est 

8 quod contemnas hoc studendi genus. Mirum est ut animus 

9 agitatione motuque corporis excitetur. lam undique silvae 

10 et solitudo ipsumque illud silentium quod venationi datur 

11 magna cogitationis incitamenta sunt. Proinde, cum vena- 

12 here, licebit (auctore me), ut panarium et lagunculam, sic 

13 etiam pugillaj-es feras. Experieris non Dianam magis 

14 montibus quam Minervam inerrare. Vale. 


To a friend who disavows the study of composition: 

1 C. Plinius Feroci sue S. Eadem epistula et non studere 

2 te et studere significat! Aenigmata loquor? Ita plane — 

3 donee distinctius quod sentio enuntiem. Negat enim te 

4 studere, sed est tam polita quam nisi a studente non potest 
6 scribi : aut es tu super omnes beatus, si talia per desidiam et 
6 otium perficis. Vale. 

Pliny finds his own praises pleasant reading: 

1 C. Plinius Sardo suo S. Postquam a te reeessi, non 

2 minus tecum, quam cum ad te, fui. Legi enim librum 

3 tuum, identidem repetens ea maxime (non enim mentiar) 

4 quae de me scripsisti, in quibus quidem percopiosus fuisti. 

5 Quam multa, quam varia, quam non eadem de eodem nee 

6 tamen di versa dixisti! Laudem pariter et gratias agam? 

196 National or Classical Roman Literature 

7 Neutrum satis possum; et, si possem, timerem ne arrogans 

8 esset ob ea laudare ob quae gratias agerem. Unum illud 

9 addam: omnia mihi tanto laudabiliora visa quanto iucun- 
10 diora, et tanto iucundiora quanto laudabiliora erant. Vale. 


In eulogy of a friend's Greek verses: 

1 C. Plinius Aprio Antonino suo S. Quemadmodum 

2 magis approbare tibi possum, quantopere mirer epigrammata 

3 tua Graeca, quam quod quaedam Latine aemulari et exprim- 

4 ere temptavi? In deterius tamen. Accidit hoc, primum 

5 imbecillitate ingenii mei, deinde inopia ac potius (ut Lucretius 

6 ait) egestate patrii sermonis. Quod si haec, quae sunt et 

7 Latina et mea, habere tibi aliquid venustatis videbuntur, 

8 quantum putas inesse iis gratiae, quae et a te et Graece 

9 proferuntur? Vale. 


To a young correspondent; an exchange of compliments: 

1 C. Plinius Geniali suo S. Probo, quod libellos meos 

2 cum patre legisti. Pertinet ad profectum tuum a disertissimo 

3 viro discere quid laudandum, quid reprehendendum; simul 

4 ita institui, ut verum dicere adsuescas. Vides quem sequi, 

5 cuius debeas implere vestigia. O te beatum! cui contigit 

6 vivum, atque idem optimum et coniunctissimum, exemplar; 

7 qui denique eum potissimum imitandum habes, cui natura 

8 esse te simillimum voluit. Vale. 


On the nature of fame: 

1 C. Plinius Maximo suo S. Frequenter agenti mihi 

2 evenit ut centumviri, cum diu se intra iudicum auctoritatem 

3 gravitatemque tenuissent, omnes repente quasi victi coacti- 

4 que consurgerent laudarentque; frequenter e senatu famam, 

5 qualem maxime optaveram, rettuli: numquam tamen 

6 maiorem cepi voluptatem, quam nuper ex sermone Cornell 

7 Taciti. Narrabat sedisse se cum quodam Circensibus 

Sixth Period 197 

8 proximis: hunc post varios eruditosque sermones requisisse 

9 " Italicus es an provincialis ? " Se respondisse " nosti me, et 

10 quidem ex studiis/' Ad hc^ ilium "Tacitus es an Plinius? '* 

11 Exprimere non possum quam sit iucundum mihi quod 

12 nomina nostra, quasi litterarum propria, non hominum, 

13 litteris redduntur; quod uterque nostrum his etiam ex 

14 studiis notus quibus aliter ignotus est. 

15 Accidit aliud ante pauculos dies simile. Recumbebat 

16 mecum vir egregius, Fadius Rufinus; super eum municeps 

17 ipsius, qui illo die primum venerat in Urbem; cui Rufinus, 

18 demonstrans me, "vides hunc?" Mult a deinde de studiis 

19 nostris. Et ille "Plinius est" inquit. 

20 Verum fatebor, capio magnum laboris mei fructum. An, 

21 si Demosthenes iure laetatus est quod ilium anus Attica ita 

22 noscitavit, ovtos ecrrt Arjfioa^hrjSj ego celebritate nominis 

23 mei gaudere non debeo ? Ego vero et gaudeo et gaudere me 

24 dico. Neque enim vereor ne iactantior videar, cum de me 

25 aliorum indicium, non meum profero, praesertim apud te, 

26 qui nee uUius invides laudibus et faves nostris. Vale. 

Pliny's oratory is greeted with acclaim : 

1 C. Plinius Valerio Paulino suo S. Gaude meo, gaude 

2 tuo, gaude etiam publico nomine : adhuc honor studiis durat. 

3 Proxime cum dicturus apud centumviros essem, adeundi mi- 

4 hi locus nisi a tribuna li, nisi per ipsos indices, non f uit : tanta 

5 stipatione cetera tenebantur. Ad hoc quidam ornatus 

6 adulescens, scissis tunicis, ut in frequentia solet fieri, sola 

7 velatus toga perstitit, et quidem horis septem. Nam tam 

8 diu dixi magno cum labore, maiore cum fructu. Studeamus 

9 ergo, nee desidiae nostrae praetendamus alienam. Sunt 

10 qui audiant; sunt qui legant; nos modo dignum aliquid auri- 

11 bus, dignum chartis elaboremus. Vale. 

198 National or Classical Roman Literature 

V ^ [13] 

Pliny requests Tacitus to help select a teacher for the school 
he has endowed : 

1 C. Plinius Tacito sue S. Salvum te in Urbem venisse 

2 gaudeo; venisti autem, si quando alias, nunc maxime mihi 

3 desideratus. Ipse pauculis adhuc diebus in Tusculano com- 

4 morabor, ut opusculum quod est in manibus absolvam. 

5 Vereor enim ne, si hanc intentionem iara in fine laxavero, 

6 aegre resumam. 

7 Interim, ne quid festinationi meae pereat, quod sum prae- 

8 sens petiturus hac quasi praecursoria epistula rogo. Sed 

9 prius accipe causas rogandi. Proxime cum in patria mea 

10 fui, venit ad me salutandum municipis mei filius praetexta- 

11 tus. Huic ego "studes?'^ inquam. Respondit "etiam." 

12 "Ubi?" "Mediolani." "Cur non hie?'' Et pater eius 

13 (erat enim una at que etiam ipse adduxerat puerum) "quia 

14 nullos hie praeceptores habemus." S^Quare nullos? Nam 

15 vehementer intererat vestra, qui patres estis," (et opportune 

16 complures patres audiebant) "liberos vestros hie potissi- 

17 mum discere. Ubi enim aut iucundius morarentur quam in 

18 patria, aut pudicius continerentur quam sub oculis paren- 

19 tum, aut minore sumptu quam domi? Quantulum est ergo 

20 collata pecunia conducere praeceptores, quodque nunc in 

21 habitationes, in viatica, in ea quae peregre emuntur impen- 

22 ditis, adicere mercedibus? Atque adeo ego (qui nondum 

23 liberos habeo) paratus sum pro re publica nostra, quasi pro 

24 filia vel parente, tertiam partem eius quod conferre vobis 

25 placebit dare. Totum etiam pollicerer, nisi timerem ne hoc 

26 munus meum quandoque ambitu corrumperetur, ut accidere 

27 multis in locis video, in quibus praeceptores publice condu- 

28 cuntur. Huic vitio occurri uno remedio potest, si parenti- 

29 bus solis ius conducendi relinquatur isdemque religio recte 

30 iudicandi necessitate collationis addatur. Nam qui for- 

31 tasse de alieno neglegentes, certe de suo diligentes erunt da- 

32 buntque operam ne a me pecuniam non nisi dignus accipiat, 

33 si accepturus et ab ipsis erit. Proinde consentite, conspirate 

Sixth Period 199 

34 maioremque animum ex meo sumite, qui cupio esse quam 

35 plurimum quod debeam conferre. Nihil honestius praestare 

36 liberis vestris, nihil gratius patriae potestis. Educentur hie 

37 qui hie nascuntur statimque ab infantia natale solum amare 

38 frequentare consuescant. At que utinam tarn claros prae- 

39 ceptores inducatis ut finitimis oppidis studia hinc petantur, 

40 utque nunc liberi vestri aliena in loca, ita mox alieni in hunc 

4 1 locum confluant ! " 

42 Haec putavi altius, et quasi a fonte, repetenda, quo magis 

43 scires quam gratum mihi foret, si susciperes quod iniungo. 

44 Iniungo autem (et pro rei magnitudine rogo), ut ex copia 

45 studiosorum, quae ad te ex admiratione ingenii tui convenit, 

46 circumspicias praeceptores quos sollicitare possimus, sub ea 

47 tamen condicione, ne cui fidem meam obstringam. Omnia 

48 enim libera parentibus servo. Illi iudicent, illi eligant: ego 

49 mihi curam tantum et impendium vindico. Proinde si quis 

50 fuerit repertus qui ingenio suo fidat, eat iMc ea lege ut hinc 
61 nihil aliud certum quam fiduciam suam ferat. Vale. 

Pliny's ideal of a happy old age: 

1 C. Plinitjs Calvisio suo S. Nescio an uUum iucundius 

2 tempus exegerim quam quo nuper apud Spurinnam f ui, adeo 

3 quidem ut neminem magis in senectute, si modo senescere 

4 datum est, aemulari velim: nihil est enim illo vitae genere 

5 distinctius. Me autem, ut certus siderum cursus, ita vita 

6 hominum disposita delectat, senum praesertim. Nam iu- 

7 venes confusa adhuc quaedam et quasi turbata non inde- 

8 cent; senibus placida omnia et ordinata conveniunt, quibus 

9 industria sera, turpis ambitio est. 

10 Hanc regulam Spurinna constantissime servat — quin 

1 1 etiam parva haec (parva, si non cotidie fiant) ordine quodam 

12 et velut orbe circumagit: mane lectulo continetur; hora 

13 secunda calceos poscit, ambulat milia passuum tria, nee 

14 minus animum quam corpus exercet. Si adsunt amici, 

15 honestissimi sermones explicantur; si non, liber legitur — 

16 interdum etiam praesentibus amicis, si tamen illi non gra- 

200 National or Classical Roman Literature 

17 vantur. Deinde considit, et liber rursus, aut sermo libro 

18 potior. Mox vehiculum ascendit; adsumit uxorem singu- 

19 laris exempli vel aliquem amicorum, ut me proxime. Quam 

20 pulchrum illud, quam dulce secretum! Quantum ibi anti- 

21 quitatis! Quae facta, quos viros audias! Qui bus praecep- 

22 tis imbuare! — quam vis ille hoc temperamentum modestiae 

23 suae indixerit, ne praecipere videatur. Peractis septem mili- 

24 bus passuum, iterum ambulat mille, iterum residit vel se 

25 cubiculo ac stilo reddit; scribit enim (et quidem utraque 

26 lingua) lyrica doctissima; mira illis dulcedo, mira suavitas, 

27 mira hilaritas, cuius gratiam cumulat sanctitas scribentis. 

28 Ubi hora balinei nuntiata est (est autem hieme nona, aes- 

29 tate octava) , in sole, si caret vento, ambulat nudus. Deinde 

30 movetur pila vehementer et diu, nam hoc quoque exercita- 

31 tionis genere pugnat cum senectute. Lotus accubat et 

32 paulisper cibum differt; interim audit legentem remissius 

33 aliquid et dulcius. Per hoc omne tempus liberum est amicis 

34 vel eadem facere vel alia, si malint. Apponitur cena non 

35 minus nitida quam frugi in argento puro et antiquo ; sunt in 

36 usu et Corinthia, quibus delectatur nee afficitur. Fre- 

37 quenter comoedis cena distinguitur, ut voluptates quoque 

38 studiis condiantur. Sumit aliquid de nocte et aestate: 

39 nemini hoc longum est; tanta comitate convivium trahitur. 

40 Inde illi, post septimum et septuagensimum annum, aurium 

41 oculorum vigor integer; inde agile et vividum corpus, sola- 

42 que ex senectute prudentia. 

43 Hanc ego vitam voto et cogitatione praesumo, ingressurus 

44 avidissime, ut primum ratio aetatis receptui canere permi- 

45 serit. Interim mille laboribus conteror, quorum mihi et 

46 solacium et exemplum est idem Spurinna: nam ille quoque, 

47 quoad honestum f uit, obiit officia, gessit magistratus, provin- 

48 cias rexit, multoque labore hoc otium meruit. Igitur eun- 

49 dem mihi cursum, eundem terminum statuo, idque iam nunc 

50 apud te subsigno, ut, si me longius evehi videris, in ius voces 

51 ad hanc epistulam meam et quiescere iubeas, cum inertiae 

52 crimen effugero. Vale. 

Sixth Period 201 


In grateful acknowledgment of friendly interest : 

1 C. Plinius Nepoti suo S. Petis ut libellos meos, quos 

2 studiosissime comparasti, recognoscendos emendandosque 

3 curem. Faciam. Quid enim suscipere libentius debeo, te 

4 praesertim exigente? Nam cum vir gravissimus, doctis- 

5 simus, disertissimus — super haec occupatissimus, maximae 

6 provinciae praefuturus, tanti putes scripta nostra circum- 

7 ferre tecum, quantopere mihi providendum est ne te haec 

8 pars sarcinarum tamquam supervacua offendat? Adnitar 

9 ergo, primum ut comites istos quam commodissimos habeas, 

10 deinde ut re versus invenias quos istis addere velis. Neque 

1 1 enim mediocriter me ad nova opera tu lector hortaris. Vale. 

An amusing blunder: Pliny receives a letter in support of his 
own candidate : 

1 C. Plinius Tacito suo S. Commendas mihi lulium 

2 Nasonem candidatum. Nasonem mihi? Quid si me ip- 

3 sum? Fero tamen et ignosco. Eundem enim commendas- 

4 sem tibi, si, te Romae morante, ipse afuissem. Habet hoc 

5 soUicitudo, quod omnia necessaria putat. Tu tamen, 

6 censeo, alios roges; ego precum tuarum minister adiutor 

7 particeps ero. Vale. 


In praise of a popular oriental sage, who lived and lectured in 
Rome : 

1 C. Plinius Attio Clementi suo S. Si quando urbs nos- 

2 tra liberalibus studiis floruit, nunc maxime floret. Multa 

3 claraque exempla sunt : sufiiceret unum, Euphrates philoso- 

4 phus. Hunc ego in Syria, cum adulescentulus militarem, 

5 penitus et domi inspexi amarique ab eo laboravi, etsi non 

6 erat laborandum. Est enim obvius et expositus plenusque 

7 humanitate, quam praecipit. At que utinam sic ipse quam 

8 spem tunc ille de me concepit impleverim, ut ille multum 

9 virtutibus suis addidit! Aut ego nunc illas magis miror, 

202 National or Classical Roman Literature 

10 quia magis intellego — quamquam ne nunc quidem satis in- 

11 tellego. Ut enim de pictore scalptore fictore nisi artifex 

12 iudicare, ita nisi sapiens non potest perspicere sapientem. 

13 Quantum tamen mihi cernere datur, multa in Euphrate sic 

14 eminent et elucent, ut mediocriter quoque doctos advertant 

15 et afficiant. Disputat subtiliter graviter ornate ; frequenter 

16 etiam Platonicam illam sublimit atem et latitudinem effingit. 

17 Sermo est copiosus et varius, dulcis imprimis, et qui repug- 

18 nantis quoque ducat impellat. Ad hoc proceritas corporis, 

19 decora facies, demissus capillus, ingens et cana barba; quae 

20 licet fortuita et inania putentur, illi tamen plurimum venera- 

21 tionis acquirunt. Nullus horror in cultu, nulla tristitia, 

22 multum severitatis: reverearis occursum, non reformides. 

23 Vitae sanctitas summa, comitas par: insectatur vitia, non 

24 homines; nee castigat errantes, sed emendat. Sequaris 

25 monentem attentus et pendens; et persuaderi tibi, etiam 

26 cum persuaserit, cupias. lam vero liberi tres, duo mares, 

27 quos diligentissime instituit. Socer Pompeius lulianus, 

28 cum cetera vita tum vel hoc uno magnus et clarus, quod ipse 

29 provinciae princeps, inter altissimas condiciones, generum, 

30 non honoribus principem sed sapientia, elegit. 

31 Quamquam quid ego plura de viro, quo mihi frui non 

32 licet? Anut magis angar, quod non licet? Nam distringor 

33 officio, ut maximo, sic molestissimo. Sedeo pro tribunali, 

34 subnoto libellos, conficio tabulas, scribo plurimas sed inlit- 

35 teratissimas litteras. Soleo nonnumquam (nam id ipsum 

36 quando contingit!) de his occupationibus apud Euphraten 

37 queri. Ille me consolatur, affirmat etiam esse hanc philoso- 

38 phiae et quidem pulcherrimam partem, agere negotium 

39 publicum, cognoscere, iudicare, promere et exercere iusti- 

40 tiam, quaeque ipsi doceant in usu habere. Mihi tamen hoc 

41 unum non persuadet, satius esse ista facere quam cum illo 

42 dies totos audiendo discendoque consumere. Quo magis te, 

43 cui vacat, hortor, cum in Urbem proxime veneris (venias 

44 autem ob hoc maturius), illi te expoliendum limandumque 

45 permittas. Neque enim ego, ut multi, in video aliis bono 

46 quo ipse careo, sed contra sensum quendam voluptatemque 

Sixth Period 203 

47 percipio, si ea quae mihi denegantur amicis video superesse. 

48 Vale. 

Pliny rejoices in the mutual devotion of two of his friends: 

1 C. Plinitjs Prisco sue S. Exprimere non possum quam 

2 iucundum sit mihi, quod Saturninus noster summas tibi 

3 apud me gratias, aliis super alias epistulis, agit. Perge ut 

4 coepisti virumque optimum quam familiar) ssime dilige, 

5 magnam voluptatem ex amicitia eius percepturus, nee ad 

6 breve tempus. Nam cum omnibus virtutibus abundat, tum 

7 hac praecipue, quod habet maximam in amore constantiam. 

8 Vale. 

Pliny *s admiration needs no urging: 

1 C. Plinius Saturnino suo S. Ego vero Rufum nostrum 

2 laudo, non quia tu, ut ita facerem, petisti, sed quia est ille 

3 dignissimus. Legi enim librum, omnibus numeris absolu- 

4 tum, cui multum apud me gratiae amor ipsius adiecit. 
6 ludicavi tamen — neque enim soli iudicant qui maligne 
6 legunt. Vale. 


A favorable judgment of a treatise, On Consolation , written by 
a friend: 

1 C. Plinius Nonio Maximo suo S. Quid senserim de 

2 singulis tuis libris notum tibi, ut quemque perlegeram, feci : 

3 accipe nunc quid de universis generaliter iudicem. Est opus 

4 pulchrum, validum, acre, sublime, varium, elegans, purum, 

5 figuratum, spatiosum etiam, et (cum magna tua laude) 

6 diffusum, in quo tu ingenii simul dolorisque velis latissime 

7 vectus es. Horum utrumque invicem adiumento fuit. 

8 Nam dolori sublimitatem et magnificentiam ingenium, in- 

9 genio vim et amaritudinem dolor addidit. Vale. 

204 National or Classical Roman Literature 

On Pliny ^s amiable failing: 

1 C. Plinius Septicio suo S. Ais quosdam apud te repre- 

2 hendisse, tamquam amicos meos ex omni occasione ultra 

3 modum laudem. Agnosco crimen, amplector etiam. Quid 

4 enim honestius culpa benignitatis? Qui sunt tamen isti, qui 

5 amicos meos melius norint? Sed ut norint, quid invident 

6 mihi felicissimo errore? Ut enim non sint tales quales a me 

7 praedicantur, ego tamen beatus, quod mihi videntur. Igitur 

8 ad alios banc sinistram diligentiam conferant; nee sunt 

9 parum multi qui carpere amicos suos indicium vocant. 

10 Mihi numquam persuadebunt ut meos amari a me nimium 

11 putem. Vale. 

Plans for a family reunion: 

1 C. Plinius Fabato pkosocero suo S. Cupis post lon- 

2 gum tempus neptem tuam meque una videre. Gratum est 

3 utrique nostrum quod cupis — mutuo mehercule, nam invi- 

4 cem nos incredibili quodam desiderio vestri tenemur, quod 

5 non ultra differemus; atque adeo iam sarcinulas alligamus, 

6 festinaturi quantum itineris ratio permiserit. Erit una sed 

7 brevis mora: deflectemus in Tuscos, non ut agros remque 

8 familiarem oculis subiciamus (id enim postponi potest), sed 

9 ut fungamur necessario officio. Oppidum est praediis nos- 

10 tris vicinum (nomen Tifernum Tiberinum), quod me paene 

11 adhuc puerum patronum cooptavit, tanto maiore studio, 

12 quanto minore iudicio. Adventus meos celebrat, profec- 

13 tionibus angitur, honoribus gaudet. In hoc ego, ut referrem 

14 gratiam (nam vinci in amore turpissimum est), templum 

15 pecunia meS exstruxi, cuius dedicationem, cum sit paratum, 

16 differre longius irreligiosum est. Erimus ergo ibi dedica- 

17 tionis die, quem epulo celebrare constitui. Subsistemus 

18 fortasse et sequent!, sed tanto magis viam ipsam corripie- 

19 mus. Contingat modo te filiamque tuam fortes invenire ! — 

20 nam continget hilares, si nos incolumes receperitis. Vale. 

Sixth Period 205 

A love letter to his wife : 

1 C. Plinius Calpurniae suae S. Scribis te absentia mea 

2 non mediocriter affici unumque habere solacium, quod pro 

3 me libellos meos teneas, saepe etiam in vestigio meo colloces. 

4 Gratum est quod nos requiris, gratum quod his fomentis ac- 

5 quiescis. Invicem ego epistulas tuas lectito atque identi- 

6 dem in manus quasi novas sumo, sed eo magis ad desiderium 

7 tui accendor. Nam cuius litterae tantum habent suavitatis, 

8 huius sermonibus quantum dulcedinis inest! Tu tamen 

9 quam frequentissime scribe, licet hoc ita me delectet ut 
10 torqueat. Vale. 


Another love letter to his wife: 

1 C. Plinius Calpurniae suae S. Incredibile est quanto 

2 desiderio tui tenear. In causa amor primum, deinde quod 

3 non consuevimus abesse. Inde est quod magnam noctium 

4 partem in imagine tua vigil exigo ; inde quod interdiu, quibus 

5 horis te visere solebam, ad diaetam tuam ipsi me (ut veris- 

6 sime dicitur) pedes ducunt; quod denique aeger et maestus 

7 ac similis excluso a vacuo limine recedo. Unum tempus his 

8 tormentis caret, quo in foro amicorum litibus conteror. 

9 Aestima tu, quae vita mea sit, cui requies in labore, in 
10 miseria curisque solacium. Vale. 

Pliny buys a valuable work of art to present to his native town : 

1 C. Plinius Annio Severo sue S. Ex hereditate, quae 

2 mihi obvenit, emi proxime Corinthium signum, modicum 

3 quidem sed festivum et expressum, quantum ego sapio, qui 

4 f ortasse in omni re, in hac certe perquam exiguum sapio : hoc 

5 tamen signum ego quoque intellego. Est enim nudum nee 

6 aut vitia, si qua sunt, celat aut laudes parum ostentat. 

7 Effingit senem stantem. Ossa, musculi, nervi, venae, rugae 

8 etiam ut spirantis apparent; rari et cedentes capilli, lata 

9 frons, contracta facies, exile coUum; pendent lacerti; papil- 

206 National or Classical Roman Literature 

10 lae iacent; venter recessit. A tergo quoque eadem aetas — 

11 ut a tergo. Aes ipsum, quantum verus color indicat, vetus et 

12 antiquum. Talia denique omnia, ut possint artificum oculos 

13 tenere, delectare imperitorum. Quod me, quamquam 

14 tirunculum^ sollicitavit ad emendum. Emi autem, non ut 

15 haberem domi (neque enim ullum adhuc Corinthium domi 

16 habeo), verum ut in patria nostra celebri loco ponerem, ac 

17 potissimum in lovis templo; videtur enim dignum templo, 

18 dignum deo donum. Tu ergo, ut soles omnia quae a me tibi 

19 iniunguntur, suscipe banc curam, et iam nunc iube basim 

20 fieri, ex quo voles marmore, quae nomen meum honoresque 

2 1 capiat, si hos quoque putabis addendos. Ego signum ipsum, 

22 ut primum invenero aliquem qui non gravetur, mittam tibi; 

23 vel ipse, quod mavis, aiferam mecum. Destino enim (si 

24 tamen officii ratio permiserit) excurrere isto. Gaudes quod 

25 me venturum esse polliceor, sed contrahes frontem, cum 

26 adiecero ''ad paucos dies' \* neque enim diutius abesse me 

27 eadem haec, quae nondum exire, patiuntur. Vale. 


A description of the famous watering place, oracle of the god 
Clitumnus, located at the head of the Clitumnus River, in 

1 C. Plinitjs Romano suo S. Vidistine aliquando Clitum- 

2 num fontem? Si nondum (et puto nondum; alioqui nar- 

3 rasses mihi), vide — quem ego (paenitet tarditatis) proxime 

4 vidi. Modicus coUis assurgit, antiqua cupresso nemorosus 
6 et opacus. Hunc subter exit fons, et exprimitur pluribus 

6 venis sed imparibus, eluctatusque quem facit gurgitem, lato 

7 gremio patescit purus et vitreus, ut numerare iactas stipes et 

8 relucentis calculos possis. Inde non loci devexitate sed 

9 ipsa sui copia et quasi pondere impellitur. Fons adhuc, et 

10 iam amplissimum flumen at que etiam navium patiens, quas 

11 obvias quoque et contrario nisu in diversa tendentes trans- 

12 mittit et perfert, adeo validus, ut ill4 qud properat ipse, 

13 quamquam per solum planum, remis non adiuvetur; idem 

14 aegerrime remis contisque superetur adversus. lucundum 

Sixth Period 207 

15 utrumque per iocum ludumque fluitantibus, ut flexerint 

16 cursum, laborem otio, otium labore variare. Ripae fraxino 

17 multa, multa populo vestiuntur, quas perspicuus amnis, ut 

18 mersas, viridi imagine adnumerat. Rigor aquae certaverit 

19 nivibus, nee color cedit. 

20 Adiacet templum priscum et religiosum: stat Clitumnus 

21 ipse, amictus ornatusque praetexta; praesens numen atque 

22 etiam fatidicum indicant sortes. Sparsa sunt circa sacella 

23 complura totidemque dii. Sua cuique veneratio, suum 

24 nomen, quibusdam vero etiam fontes. Nam, praeter ilium 

25 quasi parentem, ceterorum sunt minores, capite discreti, sed 

26 flumini miscentur, quod ponte transmittitur. Is terminus 

27 sacri profanique. In superiore parte navigare tantum, in- 

28 fra etiam natare concessum. Balineum Hispellates (quibus 

29 ilium locum divus Augustus dono dedit) publice praebent; 

30 praebent et hospitium. Nee desunt villae, quae, secutae 

31 fluminis amoenitatem, margini insistunt. In summa, nihil 

32 erit ex quo non capias voluptatem. Nam studebis quoque; 

33 leges multa multorum omnibus columnis, omnibus parieti- 

34 bus scripta, quibus fons ille deusque celebratur. Plura 

35 laudabis, nonnuUa ridebis; quamquam tu vero (quae tua 

36 humanitas) nulla ridebis. Vale. 

In answer to a friend, who considered the location of Pliny's 
estate, in Tuscany, unhealthful for a summer sojourn; a descrip- 
tion of the estate: 

1 C. Plinius Domitio Apollinari suo S. Amavi curam et 

2 sollicitudinem tuam, quod, cum audisses me aestate Tuscos 

3 meos petiturum, ne facerem suasisti, dum putas insalubres. 

4 Est sane gravis et pestilens ora Tuscorum quae per litus 

5 extenditur; sed hi procul a mari recesserunt, quin etiam 

6 Appennino, saluberrimo montium, subiacent. Atque adeo, 

7 ut omnem pro me metum ponas, accipe temperiem caeli, 

8 regionis situm, villae amoenitatem; quae et tibi auditu et 

9 mihi relatu iucunda erunt. 

10 Caelum est hieme frigidum et gelidum; myrtos, oleas, 

208 National or Classical Roman Literature 

1 1 quaeque alia assiduo tepore laetantur, aspernatur ac respuit ; 

12 laurum tamen patitur atque etiam nitidissimam profert; 

13 interdum (sed non saepius quam sub urbe nostra) necat. 

14 Aestatis mira dementia; semper aer spiritu aliquo movetur; 

15 frequentius tamen auras quam ventos habet. Hinc senes 

16 multi: videas avos proavosque iam iuvenum; audias fabulas 

17 veteres sermonesque maiorum; cumque veneris illo, putes 

18 alio te saeculo natum. 

19 Regionis forma pulcherrima. Imaginare amphitheatrum 

20 aliquod immensum et quale sola rerum natura possit effin- 

21 gere: lata et diffusa planities montibus cingitur. Montes 

22 summa sui parte procera nemora et antiqua habent. Fre- 

23 quens ibi et varia venatio. Inde caeduae silvae cum ipso 

24 monte descendunt: has inter pingues terrenique coUes 

25 (neque enim facile usquam saxum, etiam si quaeratur, occur- 

26 rit) planissimis campis fertilitate non cedunt, opimamque 

27 messem serius tantum sed non minus percoquunt. Sub his 

28 per latus omne vineae porriguntur unamque faciem longe 

29 lateque contexunt; quarum a fine imoque quasi margine 

30 arbusta nascuntur. Prat a inde campique — campi, quos 

31 non nisi ingentes boves et fortissima aratra perfringunt. 

32 Tantis glaebis tenacissimum solum, cum primum prosecatur, 

33 assurgit, ut nono demum sulco perdometur. Prata florida 

34 et gemmea trifolium aliasque herbas teneras semper et mol- 

35 les et quasi novas alunt. Cuncta enim perennibus rivis nu- 

36 triuntur; sed ubi aquae plurimum, palus nulla, quia devexa 

37 terra, quidquid liquoris accepit nee absorbuit, effundit in 

38 Tiberim. Medios ille agros secat, navium patiens, omnisque 

39 fruges devehit in urbem, hieme dumtaxat et vere. Aestate 

40 sunimittitur, immensique fluminis nomen arenti alveo 

41 deserit, autumno resumit. Magnam capies voluptatem, si 

42 hunc regionis situm ex monte prospexeris. Neque enim ter- 

43 ras tibi, sed formam aliquam, ad eximiam pulchritudinem 

44 pictam, videberis cernere: ea varietate, ea descriptione, 

45 quocumque inciderint, oculi reficientur. 

46 Villa, in colle imo sita, prospicit quasi ex summo: ita 

47 leniter et sensim, clivo fallente, consurgit, ut cum ascendere 

Sixth Period 209 

48 te non putes, sentias ascendisse. A tergo Appenninum, sed 

49 longius, habet: accipit ab hoc auras quamlibet sereno et 

50 placido die.^ . . . 

51 Habes causas cur ego Tuscos meos Tusculanis, Tiburtinis, 

52 Praenestinisque praeponam. Nam (super ilia quae rettuli) 

53 altius ibi otium et pinguius eoque securius. Nulla necessi- 

54 tas togae; nemo accersitor ex proximo. Placida omnia et 

55 quiescentia: quod ipsum salubritati regionis, ut purius 

56 caelum, ut aer liquidior, accedit. Ibi animo, ibi corpora 

57 maxime valeo. Nam studiis animum, venatu corpus exer- 

58 ceo. Mei quoque nusquam salubrius degunt: usque adhuc 

59 certe neminem ex iis, quos eduxeram mecum, (venia sit dicto) 

60 ibi amisi. Di modo in posterum hoc mihi gaudium, hanc 

61 gloriam loco servent. Vale. 

In answer to a request for information about his uncle :^ 

1 C. Plinius Baebio Macro suo S. Pergratum est mihi, 

2 quod tam diligenter libros avunculi mei lectitas, ut habere 

3 omnes velis quaerasque qui sint omnes. Fungar indicis 

4 partibus, atque etiam, quo sint ordine scripti, notum tibi 

5 f aciam : est enim haec quoque studiosis non iniucunda cogni- 

6 tio. De iaculatione equestri, unus: hunc, cum praefectus 

7 alae militaret, pari ingenio curaque composuit. De vita 

8 Pomponi Secundi, duo: a quo singulariter amatus, hoc me- 

9 moriae amici quasi debitum munus exsolvit. Bellorum 

1 A long and detailed account of the villa follows, describing its archi- 
tecture, luxurious appointments, and extensive gardens — all very interesting 
and well worth reading in English translation. 

2 The character of Pliny the Elder is interestingly portrayed in this and the 
following letters. Like Theodore Roosevelt, he was an able administrator and 
man of affairs, a tireless student, a voluminous author, a natural scientist, 
and above all a believer in the strenuous life. He had a passion — a veritable 
fever — for amassing facts. The Natural Histories (his only work to have 
survived) is a vast and uncritical compilation, characteristic of Roman (and 
medieval) knowledge in scientific fields. It is strange, however, that a man 
who could assemble such a fund of imdigested information, seems nevertheless 
to have been imbued with the true spirit of scientific adventure — as shown by 
his fearlessness in going to investigate Mt. Vesuvius in eruption, on which 
occasion he became a martyr to science. 

210 National or Classical Roman Literature 

10 Germaniae, viginti: quibus omnia quae cum Germanis gessi- 

11 mus bella collegit (inchoavit, cum in Germania militaret, 

12 somnio monitus; adstitit ei quiescenti Drusi Neronis effigies, 

13 qui Germaniae latissime victor ibi periit; commendabat 

14 memoriam suam orabatque ut se ab iniuria oblivionis ad- 

15 sereret). Studiosi, tres, in sex volumina propter amplitudi- 

16 nem divisi: quibus oratorem ab incunabulis instituit et per- 

17 ficit. Dubii sermonis, odo: scripsit sub Nerone novissimis 

18 annis, cum omne studiorum genus paulo liberius et erectius 

19 periculosum servitus fecisset. A fine Aufidi Bassiy triginta 

20 unus. Naturae histonarurrif triginta septem: opus diffusum, 

21 eruditum, nee minus varium quam-ipsa natura. 

^ 22 Miraris quod tot volumina, multaque in his tam scrupulo- 

^ 23 sa, homo occupatus absolverit? Magis miraberis, si scieris 

24 ilium aliquamdiu causas actitasse; decessisse anno sexto et 

25 quinquagensimo ; medium tempus, distentum impeditumque 

26 qua officiis maximis qua amicitia principum, egisse. Sed 

27 erat acre ingenium, incredibile studium, summa vigilantia. 

28 Lucubrare Vulcanalibus incipiebat, non auspicandi causa sed 

29 studendi, statim a nocte multa, hieme vero ab hora septima, 

30 vel cum tardissime octava, saepe sexta. Erat sane somni 

31 paratissimi, nonnumquam etiam inter ipsa studia instantis 

32 et deserentis. Ante lucem ibat ad Vespasianum impera- 

33 torem (nam ille quoque noctibus utebatur), inde ad delega- 

34 tum sibi officium. Reversus domum, quod reliquum 

35 temporis studiis reddebat. Post cibum saepe, quem inter- 

36 diu levem et facilem veterum more sumebat, aestate, si 

37 quid otii, iacebat in sole; liber legebatur; annotabat excerpe- 

38 batque. Nihil enim legit quod non excerperet : dicere etiam 

39 solebat nullum esse librum tam malum, ut non aliqua parte 

40 prodesset. Post solem plerum que frigidalavabatur ; deinde 

41 gustabat dormiebatque minimum; mox quasi alio die stude- 

4 2 bat in cenae tempus . Su per hanc liber legebatur ; annotaba- 

43 tur, et quidem cursim. Memini quendam ex amicis, cum 

44 lector quaedam perperam pronuntiasset, revocasse et repeti 

45 coegisse; huic avunculum meum dixisse "intellexeras 

46 nempe?''; cum ille annuisset, *'cur ergo revocabas? — 

Sixth Period 211 

47 decern amplius versus hac tua interpellatione perdidimus.'* 

48 Tanta erat parsimonia temporis! Surgebat aestate a cena 

49 luce, hieme intra primam noctis, et tamquam aliqua lege 

50 cogente. Haec inter medios labores urbisque fremitum. 

51 In secessu solum balinei tempus studiis eximebatur: cum 

52 dico '* balinei/' de interioribus loquor ; nam dum destringitur 

53 tergiturque, audiebat aliquid aut dictabat. In itinere, 

54 quasi solutus ceteris curis, huic uni vacabat : ad latus nota- 

55 rius cum libro et pugillaribus, cuius manus hieme manicis 

56 muniebantur, ut ne caeli quidem asperitas uUum studiis 

57 tempus eriperet; qua ex causa Romae quoque sella veheba- 

58 tur. Repeto me correptum ab eo cur ambularem: *^pote- 

59 ras" inquit *'has horas non perdere," nam perire omne tem- 

60 pus arbitrabatur quod studiis non impenderetur. Hac in- 

61 tentione tot ista volumina peregit, electorumque commen- 

62 tarios centum sexaginta mihi reliquit, opisthographos 

63 quidem et minutissime scriptos; qua ratione multiplicatur 

64 hie numerus. Referebat ipse, potuisse se, cum procuraret 

65 in Hispania, vendere hos commentarios Largio Licino quad- 

66 ringentis milibus nummum, et tunc aliquanto pauciores 

67 erant. Soleo ridere, cum me quidam studiosum vocant, qui, 

68 si comparer illi, sum desidiosissimus. Ego autem tantum, 

69 quem partim publica, partim amicorum, ofiicia distringunt? 

70 Quis ex istis, qui tota vita litteris adsident, collatus illi, non 

71 quasi somno et inertiae deditus erubescat? Extendi 

72 epistulam, cum hoc solum quod requirebas scribere destinas- 

73 sem, quos libros reliquisset. Confido tamen haec quoque 

74 tibi non minus grata quam ipsos libros futura, quae te non 

75 tantum ad legendos eos verum etiam ad simile aliquid 

76 elaborandum possunt aemulationis stimulis excitare. Vale. 

[29] ^ 

On the events leading to the death of Pliny the Elder: the 
eruption of Mt. Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii, Her- 
culaneum, and Stabiae on August 24, 79 A.D. : 

1 C. Plinius Tacito suo S. Petis ut tibi avunculi mei 

212 National or Classical Roman Literature 

2 exitum scribam, quo verius tradere posteris possis. Gratias 

3 ago; nam video morti eius, si celebretur a te, immortalem 

4 gloriam esse propositam. Quamvis enim pulcherrimarum 

5 clade terrarum (ut populi, ut urbes, memorabili casu quasi 

6 semper victurus) occiderit, quamvis ipse plurima opera et 

7 mansura condiderit; multum tamen perpetuitati eius scrip- 

8 torum tuorum aeternitas addet. Equidem beatos puto, 

9 quibus deorum munere datum est aut facere scribenda aut 

10 scribere legenda; beatissimos vero, quibus utrumque. 

1 1 Horum in numero avunculus meus et suis libris et tuis erit. 

12 Quo libentius suscipio, deposco etiam, quod iniungis. 

13 Erat Miseni classemque imperio praesens regebat. 

14 Nonum kal. Septembres, hora fere septima, mater mea 

15 indicat ei apparere nubem inusitata et magnitudine et 

16 specie. Usus ille sole, mox frigida, gustaverat iacens stude- 

17 batque : poscit soleas, ascendit locum ex quo maxime miracu- 

18 lum illud conspici poterat. Nubes (incertum procul intuen- 

19 tibus, ex quo monte — Vesuvium fuisse postea cognitum est) 

20 oriebatur, cuius similitudinem et formam non alia magis ar- 

21 bor quam pinus expresserit. Nam, longissimo velut trunco 

22 elata in altum, quibusdam ramis diffundebatur (credo, quia 

23 recenti spiritu evecta, dein senescente eo destituta aut etiam 

24 pondere suo victa in latitudinem vanescebat) Candida inter- 

25 dum, interdum sordida et maculosa, prout terram cineremve 

26 sustulerat. Magnum propiusque noscendum, ut eruditis- 

27 simo viro, visum. lubet Liburnicam aptari; mihi, si venire 

28 una vellem, facit copiam; respondi studere me malle — et 

29 forte ipse quod scriberem dederat. Egrediebatur domo; 

30 accipit codicillos Rectinae Tasci, imminenti periculo extern- 

31 tae (nam villa eius subiacebat, nee ulla nisi navibus fuga); 

32 ut se tanto discrimini eriperet, orabat. Vertit ille consilium, 

33 et quod studioso animo inchoaverat, obit maximo. Deducit 

34 quadriremes; ascendit ipse, non Rectinae modo sed multis 

35 (erat enim frequens amoenitas orae) laturus auxilium. 

36 Proper at ill^c unde alii fugiunt; rectumque cursum, recta 

37 gubernacula in periculum tenet, adeo solutus metu, ut 

38 omnis illius mali motus, omnis figuras, ut deprehenderat 

Sixth Period 213 

39 oculis, dictaret enotaretque. lam navibus cinis incidebat 

40 (quo propius accederent, calidior et densior); iam pumices 

41 etiam, nigrique et ambusti et fr^icti igne lapides; iam vadum 

42 subitum — ^ruinaque mentis litora obstantia. Cunctatus 

43 paulum an retro flecteret, mox gubernatori (ut ita faceret, 

44 monenti) '* fortes" inquit "Fortuna iuvat: Pomponianum 

45 pete." Stabiis erat, diremptus sinu medio (nam sensim 

46 circumactis curvatisque litoribus mare infunditur). Ibi 

47 (quamquam nondum periculo appropinquante, conspicuo 

48 tamen, et cum cresceret, proximo) sarcinas contulerat in 

49 naves, certus fugae, si contrarius ventus resedisset. Qu6 

50 tunc avunculus mens secundissimo invectus, complectitur 

51 trepidantem, consolatur, hortatur, utque timorem eius sua 

52 securitate leniret, deferri in balineum iubet; lotus accubat, 

53 cenat aut hilaris aut (quod est aeque magnum) similis hilari. 

54 Interim e Vesuvio monte pluribus in locis latissimae 

55 flammae altaque incendia relucebant, quorum fulgor et 

56 claritas tenebris noctis excitabatur. Ille agrestium trepida- 

57 tione ignes relictos desertasque villas per solitudinem ardere 

58 — in remedium formidinis — dictitabat. Tum se quieti de- 

59 dit, et quievit verissimo quidem somno. Nam meatus 

60 animae, qui illi propter amplitudinem corporis gravior et 

61 sonantior erat, ab iis qui limini obversabantur audiebatur. 

62 Sed area, ex qua diaeta adibatur, ita iam cinere mixtisque 

63 pumicibus oppleta surrexerat, ut, si longior in cubiculo mora, 

64 exitus negaretur. Excitatus procedit, seque Pomponiano 

65 ceterisque qui pervigilaverant reddit. In commune con- 

66 sultant, intra tecta subsistant an in aperto vagentur. Nam 

67 crebris vastisque tremoribus tecta nutabant, et quasi emota 

68 sedibus suis nunc hue nunc illuc abire aut referri videbantur. 

69 Sub dio rursus, quamquam levium exesorumque, pumicum 

70 casus metuebatur: quod tamen periculorum collatio elegit. 

71 Et apud ilium quidem ratio ratio nem, apud alios timorem 

72 timor vicit. Cervicalia capitibus imposita linteis constrin- 

73 gunt: id munimentum adversus incidentia fuit. Iam dies 

74 alibi, illic nox — omnibus noctibus nigrior densiorque; quam 

75 tamen faces multae variaque lumina solabantur. Placuit 

214 National or Classical Roman Literature 

76 egredi in litus, et ex proximo aspicere, ecquid iam mare ad- 

77 mitteret : quod adhuc vastum et adversum permanebat. Ibi 

78 super abiectum linteum recubans semel atque iterum frigi- 

79 dam aquam poposcit hausitque. Deinde flammae, flamma- 

80 rumque praenuntius odor sulphuris, alios in fugam vertunt, 

81 excitant ilium. Innitens servulis duobus adsurrexit, et 

82 statim concidit, ut ego colligo, crassiore caligine spiritu 

83 obstructo clausoque stomacho, qui illi natura invalidus et 

84 angustus et frequenter aestuans erat. Ubi dies redditus 

85 (is ab eo, quem novissime viderat, tertius), corpus inventum 

86 integrum, inlaesum, opertumque ut fuerat indutus: habitus 

87 corporis quiescenti quam defuncto similior. 

88 Interim Miseni ego et mater — sed nihil ad historiam, nee 

89 tu aliud quam de exitu eius scire voluisti. Finem ergo 

90 faciam. Unum adiciam: omnia me quibus interfueram 

91 quaeque statim, cum maxime vera memorantur, audieram 

92 persecutum. Tu potissima excerpes. Aliud est enim 

93 epistulam aliud historiam, aliud amico aliud omnibus 

94 scribere. Vale. 


A sequel to the preceding letter, describing the experiences of 
Pliny the Younger and his mother during the eruption: 

1 C. Plinius Tacito suo S. Ais te, adductum litteris, quas 

2 exigenti tibi de morte avunculi mei scripsi, cupere cognos- 

3 cere, quos ego, Miseni relictus (idenimingressus abruperam), 

4 non solum metus verum etiam casus pertulerim. "Quam- 

5 quam animus meminisse horret, incipiam." 

6 Profecto avunculo, ipse reliquum tempus studiis (ideo 

7 enim remanseram) impendi: mox balineum, cena, somnus 

8 inquietus et brevis. Praecesserat per multos dies tremor 

9 terrae, minus formidolosus, quia Campaniae solitus; ilia vero 

10 nocte it a invaluit, ut non moveri omnia sed verti crederen- 

1 1 tur. Inrumpit cubiculum meum mater : surgebam, invicem 

12 (si quiesceret) excitaturus. Residimus in area domus, quae 

13 mare a tectis modico spatio dividebat. Dubito constantiam 

14 vocare an imprudentiam debeam (agebam enim duodevicen- 

15 simum annum) : posco librum Titi Livi, et quasi per otium 

Sixth Period 215 

16 lego, atque etiam (ut coeperam) excerpo. Ecce amicus 

17 avunculi, qui nuper ad eum ex Hispania venerat; ut me et 

18 matrem sedentes, me vero etiam legentem videt, illius pa- 

19 tientiam, securitatem meam corripit: nihilo segnius ego 

20 intentus in librum. lam hora diei prima, et adhuc dubius 

21 et quasi languidus dies. lam quassatis circumiacentibus 

22 tectis, quamquam in aperto loco, angusto tamen, magnus et 

23 certus ruinae metus. Tum demum excedere oppido visum : 

24 sequitur vulgus attonitum, quodque in pavore simile pru- 

25 dentiae, alienum consilium suo praefert ingentique agmine 

26 abeuntis premit et impellit. Egressi tecta, consistimus. 

27 Multa ibi miranda, multas formidines patimur. Nam 

28 vehicula, quae produci iusseramus, quamquam in pianissimo 

29 campo, in contrarias partes agebantur, ac, ne lapidibus 

30 quidem fulta, in eodem vestigio quiescebant. Praeterea 

31 mare in se resorberi et tremore terrae quasi repelli vide- 

32 bamus. Certe processerat litus multaque animalia maris 

33 siccis harenis detinebat. 

34 Ab altero latere nubes atra et horrenda, ignei spirit us 

35 tortis vibratisque discursibus rupta, in longas flammarum 

36 figuras dehiscebat: fulguribus illae et similes et maiores 

37 erant. Tum vero idem ille ex Hispania amicus acrius et 

38 instantius "si f rater" inquit "tuus, tuus avunculus, vivit, 

39 vult esse vos salvos: si periit, superstites voluit: proinde 

40 quid cessatis evadere?" Respondimus non commissuros 

41 nos, ut, de salute illius incerti, nostrae consuleremus. Non 

42 moratus ultra proripit se effusoque cursu periculo aufertur. 

43 Nee multo post, ilia nubes descendere in terras, operire 

44 maria; cinxerat Capreas et absconderat ; Miseni quod pro- 

45 currit abstulerat. Tum mater orare, hortari, iubere quoquo 

46 modo fugerem: posse enim iuvenem; se, et annis et corpore 

47 gravem, bene morituram, si mihi causa mortis non fuisset. 

48 Ego contra: salvum me, nisi una, non futurum. Dein 

49 manum eius amplexus, addere gradum cogo. Paret aegre 

50 incusatque se, quod me moretur. lam cinis, adhuc tamen 

51 rarus. Respicio; densa caligo tergis imminebat, quae nos, 

52 torrentis modo infusa terrae, sequebatur. "Deflectamus'' 

216 National or Classical Roman Literature 

63 inquam, "dum videmus, ne, in via strati comitantium turba, 

54 in tenebris obteramur." 

55 Vix consideramus et nox — non qualis inlunis aut nubila, 

56 sed qualis in locis clausis lumine exstincto. Audtres ululatus 

57 feminarum, infantum quiritatus, clamores virorum. Alii 

58 parentes, alii liberos, alii coniuges vocibus requirebant, 

59 vocibus noscitabant. Hi suum casum, illi suorum misera- 

60 bantur. Erant qui metu mortis mortem precarentur. 

61 Multi ad deos manus toUere; plures, nusquam iam deos 

62 ullos aeternamque illam et novissimam noctem mundo, inter- 

63 pretabantur. Nee defuerunt qui fictis mentitisque terrori- 

64 bus vera pericula augerent : aderant qui, Miseni illud ruisse, 

65 illud ardere, falso sed credentibus nuntiabant. 

66 Paulum reluxit; quod non dies nobis sed adventantis ignis 

67 indicium videbatur. Et ignis quidem longius substitit; 

68 tenebrae rursus ; cinis rursus multus et gravis. Hunc identi- 

69 dem adsurgentes excutiebamus : operti alioqui atque etiam 

70 oblisi pondere essemus. Possem gloriari non gemitum mihi, 

71 non vocem parum fortem in tantis periculis excidisse — 

72 nisi me cum omnibus, omnia mecum perire (misero, magno 

73 tamen mortalitatis solacio) credidissem. Tandem ilia caligo, 

74 tenuata quasi in fumum nebulamve, discessit; mox dies 

75 verus; sol etiam effulsit, luridus tamen, qualis esse, cum 

76 deficit, solet. Occursabant trepidantibus adhuc oculis 

77 mutata omnia altoque cinere, tamquam nive, obducta. 

78 Regressi Misenum, curatis utcumque corporibus, suspensam 

79 dubiamque noctem spe ac metu exegimus. Metus prae- 

80 valebat: nam et tremor terrae perseverabat et plerique 

81 lymphati terrificis vaticinationibus et sua et aliena mala 

82 ludificabantur. Nobis tamen ne tunc quidem, quamquam 

83 et expertis periculum et exspectantibus, abeundi consilium, 

84 donee de avunculo nuntius. 

85 Haec (nequaquam historia digna) non scripturus leges, et 

86 tibi (scilicet qui requisisti) imputabis, si digna ne epistula 

87 quidem videbuntur. Vale. 

Sixth Period 217 

On whether or not one should believe in ghosts and apparitions: 

1 C. Plinius Surae sue S. Et mihi discendi et tibi docendi 

2 facultatem otium praebet. Perquam velim scire, esse 

3 phantasmata et habere propriam figuram numenque aliquod 

4 putes, an, inania et vana, ex metu nostro imaginem accipere. 
6 Ego, ut esse credam, imprimis eo ducor, quod audio accidisse 

6 Curtio Rufo. 

7 Tenuis adhuc et obscurus, obtinenti Africam comes 

8 haeserat. Inclinato die spatiabatur in porticu. Offertur ei 

9 mulieris figura, humana grandior pulchriorque. Perterrito 

10 "Africam" se, futurorum praenuntiam, dixit: iturum enim 

11 Romam, honoresque gesturum, atque etiam cum summo im- 

12 perio in eandem provinciam reversurum, ibique moriturum. 

13 Facta sunt omnia. Praeterea accedenti Carthaginem 

14 egredientique nave eadem figura in litore occurrisse narratur. 

15 Ipse certe, implicitus morbo, futura praeteritis ad versa 

16 secundis auguratus, spem salutis (nullo suorum desperante) 

17 proiecit. 

18 lam illud nonne et magis terribile et non minus mirum 

19 est? — quod exponam ut accepi. Erat Athenis spatiosa et 

20 capax domus, sed infamis et pestilens. Per silentium noctis 

21 sonus ferri, et si attenderes acrius, strepitus vinculorum 

22 longius primo, deinde e proximo reddebatur; mox apparebat 

23 idolon, senex macie et squalore confectus, promissa barba, 

24 horrenti capillo; cruribus compedes, manibus catenas gere- 

25 bat quatiebatque. Inde inhabitantibus tristes diraeque 

26 noctes per metum vigilabantur: vigiliam morbus et (cres- 

27 cente formidine) mors sequebatur. Nam interdiu quoque, 

28 quamquam abscesserat imago, memoria imaginis oculis 

29 inerrabat, longiorque causis timoris timor erat. Deserta 

30 inde et damnata solitudine domus, totaque illi monstro 

31 relicta; proscribebatur tamen, seu quis emere, seu quis 

32 conducere (ignarus tanti mali) vellet. 

33 Venit Athenas philosophus Athenodorus; legit titulum; 

34 auditoque pretio, quia suspecta vilitas, percunctatus, omnia 

218 National or Classical Roman Literature 

35 docetur, ac nihilo minus, immo tanto magis, conducit. Ubi 

36 coepit advesperascere, iubet sterni sibi prima domus parte; 

37 poscit pugillares stilum lumen; suos omnes in interior a dimit- 

38 tit; ipse ad scribendum animum oculos manum intendit, ne 

39 vacua mens audita simulacra et inanes sibi met us finger et. 

40 Initio, quale ubique, silentium noctis; dein concuti ferrum, 

41 vincula moveri; ille non tollere oculos, non remittere stilum, 

42 sed offirmare animum auribusque praetendere. Tum cre- 

43 brescere fragor, adventare, et iam ut in limine, iam ut intra 

44 limen audiri. Respicit, videt agnoscitque narratam sibi 

45 effigiem. Stabat innuebatque digito, similis vocanti. Hie 

46 contra, ut paulum exspectaret, manu significat, rursusque 

47 ceris et stilo incumbit. Ilia scribentis capiti catenis insona- 

48 bat. Respicit rursus idem quod prius innuentem; nee 

49 moratus, toUit lumen et sequitur. Ibat ilia lento gradu, 

50 quasi gravis vinculis. Postquam deflexit in aream domus, 

51 repente dilapsa deserit comitem. Desertus herbas et folia 

52 concerpta signum loco ponit. Postero die adit magistratus; 

53 monet ut ilium locum effodi iubeant. Inveniuntur ossa 

54 inserta catenis et implicita, quae corpus, aevo terraque 

55 putref actum, nuda et exesa reliquerat vinculis: collect a 

56 publice sepeliuntur. Domus postea rite conditis manibus 

57 caruit. 

58 Et haec quidem affirmantibus credo: illud affirmare aliis 

59 possum. Est libertus mihi, non inlitteratus. Cum hoc 

60 minor frater eodem lecto quiescebat. Is visus est sibi 

61 cernere quendam in toro residentem admoventemque capiti 

62 suo cultros atque etiam ex ipso vertice amputantem capillos. 

63 Ubi inluxit, ipse circa verticem tonsus, capilli iacentes 

64 reperiuntur. Exiguum temporis medium, et rursus simile 

65 aliud priori fidem fecit. Puer in paedagogio mixtus pluribus 

66 dormiebat : venerunt per fenestras (ita narrat) in tunicis albis 

67 duo cubantemque detonderunt, et qua venerant recesserunt. 

68 Hunc quoque tonsum sparsosque circa capillos dies ostendit. 

69 Nihil notabile secutum, nisi forte quod non fui reus, futurus, 

70 si Domitianus, sub quo haec acciderunt, diutius vixisset. 

71 Nam in scrinio eius datus a Caro de me libellus inventus est ; 

Sixth Period 219 

72 ex quo coniectari potest, quia reis moris est summittere 

73 capillum, recisos meorum capillos depulsi quod imminebat 

74 periculi signum fuisse. 

75 Proinde rogo, eruditionem tuam intendas. Digna res est, 

76 quam diu multumque consideres; ne ego quidem indignus, 

77 cui copiam scientiae tuae facias. Licet etiam utramque in 

78 partem, ut soles, disputes, ex altera tamen fortius, ne me 

79 suspensum incertumque dimittas, cum mihi consulendi 

80 causa fuerit ut dubitare desinerem. Vale. 


Pliny recommends to a friend the remarkable story of a tame 
dolphin, as the subject for a poem: 

1 C. Plinius Caninio suo S. Incidi in materiam veram, 

2 sed simillimam fictae dignamque isto laetissimo altissimo 

3 planeque poetico ingenio; incidi autem, dum super cenam 

4 varia miracula hinc inde referuntur. Magna auctori fides — 

5 tametsi quid poetae cum fide? Is tamen auctor, cui bene, 

6 vel historiam scripturus, credidisses. 

7 Est in Africa Hipponensis colonia, mari proxima. Adiacet 

8 navigabile stagnum. Ex hoc in modum fluminis aestuarium 

9 emergit, quod vice alterna, prout aestus aut repressit aut 

10 impulit, nunc infertur mari, nunc redditur stagno. Omnis 

11 hie aetas piscandi, navigandi, atque etiam natandi studio 

12 tenetur — maxime pueri, quos otium lususque sollicitat. 

13 His gloria et virtus altissime provehi: victor ille, qui longis- 

14 sime ut litus ita simul natantes reliquit. Hoc certamine 

15 puer quidam, audentior ceteris, in ulterior a tendebat. 

16 Delphinus occurrit; et nunc praecedere puerum, nunc sequi, 

17 nunc circumire, postremo subire, deponere, iterum subire, 

18 trepidantemque perferre primum in altum, mox flectit ad 

19 litus, redditque terrae et aequalibus. 

20 Serpit per coloniam fama; concurrere omnes; ipsum 

21 puerum, tamquam miraculum, aspicere, interrogare, audire, 

22 narrare. Postero die obsident litus, prospectant mare et si 

23 quid est mari simile. Natant pueri: inter hos ille, sed 

24 cautius. Delphinus rursus ad tempus, rursus ad puerum 

220 National or Classical Roman Literature 

25 venit. Fugit ille cum ceteris. Delphinus, quasi invitet et 

26 revocet, exsilit, mergitur, variosque orbes implicitat expedit- 

27 que. Hoc altero die, hoc tertio, hoc pluribus, donee homi- 

28 nes, innutritos mari, subiret timendi pudor. Accedunt et 

29 alludunt et appellant, tangunt etiam pertrectantque prae- 

30 bentem. Crescit audacia experimento. Maxime puer, qui 

31 primus expertus est, adnatantis insilit tergo; fertur refertur- 

32 que; agnosci se, amari putat; amat ipse; neuter timet, 

33 neuter timetur; huius fiducia, mansuetudo illius augetur. 

34 Nee non alii pueri dextra laevaque simul eunt, hortantes 

35 monentesque. Ibat und (id quoque mirum) delphinus alius, 

36 tantum spectator et comes. Nihil enim simile aut faciebat 

37 aut patiebatur, sed alterum ilium ducebat reddebatque, ut 

38 puerum ceteri pueri. Incredibile — tam verum tamen quam 

39 priora, delphinum gestatorem conlusoremque puerorum in 

40 terram quoque extrahi solitum; harenisque siccatum, ubi 

41 incaluisset, in mare revolvi. 

42 Constat Octavium Avitum, legatum pro consule, in litus 

43 educto religione prava superfudisse unguentum, cuius ilium 

44 novitatem odoremque in altum refugisse; nee nisi post 

45 multos dies visum, languidum et maestum; mox redditis 

46 viribus, priorem lasciviam et solita ministieria repetisse. 

47 Confluebant omnes ad spectaculum magistratus, quorum 

48 adventu et mora modica res publica novis sumptibus attere- 

49 batur. Postremo locus ipse quietem suam secretumque 

50 perdebat. Placuit occulte interfici ad quod coibatur. 

51 Haec tu qua miseratione, qua copia deflebis, ornabis, at- 

52 tolles! Quamquam non est opus aflfingas aliquid aut ad- 

53 struas: sufficit ne ea quae sunt vera minuantur. 




During his term as governor of Bithynia and Pontus, Pliny con- 
ducted a semi-official and unique correspondence with the 
Emperor, Trajan. This correspondence (or part of it) was 

Sixth Period 221 

probably published after Pliny's death, although it is rather 
obvious that Pliny wrote with an eye to publication; for his letters 
are not official dispatches, but friendly (though respectful) 
communications. In other words, in addition to his official posi- 
tion, Pliny continued as litterateur to cultivate the art of episto- 
lography. Many of the letters are brief, but elegant, expressions 
of congratulation on various occasions and anniversaries — more 
like models from a style manual; Trajan's replies to them are 
formal, courteous, and even briefer. Their literary excellence is 
the only conceivable reason for publishing these notes, for they 
have no historical value whatever. 

More individual, but equally innocuous, are the few requests for 
personal favors respectfully tendered by Pliny and courteously 
granted by Trajan. 

The important letters, however, are those in which Pliny — in 
the same impeccable literary style — appeals to the Emperor for 
advice and instruction on adniinistrative problems. If ever a man 
revealed his fundamental incompetence, while maintaining his 
integrity of character and honesty of purpose, it was Pliny! 
Under senatorial management, dishonesty and corruption had 
flourished in Bithynia; therefore Trajan dispatched Pliny as his 
personal appointee, to reestablish an honest administration there. 
This Pliny did, but in no wise lessened the Emperor's responsibil- 
ity; for though his honesty might be above suspicion and his in- 
tentions of the best, Pliny lacked decision and breadth of view. 

It is impossible to believe that the administration of the Roman 
Empire was normally carried on by the exchange of amiable and 
polite correspondence — an Emperor at headquarters answering 
the petty questions of every local regime, and refreshing the minds 
of provincial governors on elementary principles of justice and 
rules of procedure! We detect in Trajan's ever-courteous and 
common-sense replies to Pliny, a note of patient endurance. 


The following letters were written on the occasion of the 
Emperor's birthday: 

222 National or Classical Roman Literature 

[a] Pliny congratulates Trajan: 

1 C. Plinius Traiano Imperatori. Opto, domine, et hunc 

2 natalem et plurimos alios quam felicissimos agas, aeternaque 

3 laude florentem virtutis tuae gloriam incolumis et fortis 

4 aliis super alia operibus augeas. 

[b] Trajan replies: 

1 Traianus Plinio S. Agnosco vota tua, mi Secunde 

2 carissime, quibus precaris ut plurimos et felicissimos natales, 

3 florente statu rei publicae nostrae, agam. 


The following letters concern a request for citizenship in behalf 
of the daughter of a (naturalized) soldier: 

[a] Pliny makes his request: 

1 C. Plinius Traiano Imperatori. Rogatus, domine, a 

2 P. Accio Aquila, centurione cohortis sextae equestris, ut 

3 mitterem tibi libellum, per quem indulgentiam pro statu 

4 filiae suae implorat, durum putavi negare, cum scirem, 

5 quantam soleres militum precibus patientiam humanitatem- 

6 que praestare. 

[b] Trajan replies: 

1 Traianus Plinio S. Libellum P. Accii Aquilae, centu- 

2 rionis cohortis sextae equestris, quem misisti, legi; cuius 

3 precibus motus, dedi filiae eius civitatem Romanam. 

4 Libellum rescripti, quem illi redderes, misi tibi. 


The following letters concern that troublesome religious sect, 
the Christians : 

[a] Pliny states his difficulties: 

1 C. Plinius Traiano Imperatori. Sollemne est mihi, 

2 domine, omnia de quibus dubito ad te referre. Quis enim 

3 potest melius vel cunctationem meam regere vel ignorantiam 

4 exstruere? 

5 Cognitionibus de Christianis interfui numquam; ideo 

6 nescio quid (et quatenus) aut puniri soleat aut quaeri. Nee 

Sixth Period 223 

7 mediocriter haesitavi, sitne aliquod discrimen aetatum, an 

8 quamlibet teneri nihil a robustioribus differant ; detur paeni- 

9 tentiae venia, an ei, qui omnino Christianus fuit, desisse non 

10 prosit; nomen ipsum (si flagitiis careat), an flagitia cohaeren- 

11 tia nomini puniantur. Interim in iis qui ad me tamquam 

12 Christiani deferebantur hunc sum secutus modum: inter- 

13 rogavi ipsos an essent Christiani; confitentes iterum ac ter- 

14 tio interrogavi, supplicium minatus; perseverantes duci iussi 

15 — neque enim dubitabam, qualecumque esset quod fateren- 

16 tur, pertinaciam certe et inflexibilem obstinationem debere 

17 puniri. Fuerunt aHi similis amentiae qucs, quia cives 

18 Romani erant, annotavi in urbem remittendos. Mox ipso 

19 tractatu (ut fieri solet) diffundente se crimine, plures species 

20 inciderunt. Propositus est libellus sine auctore, multorum 

21 nomina continens. Qui negabant esse se Christianos aut 

22 fuisse — cum, praeeunte me, deos appellarent; et imagini 

23 tuae, quam propter hoc iusseram cum simulacris numinum 

24 afferri, ture ac vino supplicarent; praeterea maledicerent 

25 Christo (quorum nihil posse cogi dicuntur qui sunt revera 

26 Christiani) — dimittendos esse putavi. Alii, ab indice 

27 nominati, esse se Christianos dixerunt — et mox negaverunt ; 

28 ''fuisse quidem, sed desisse," quidam "ante triennium," 

29 quidam "ante plures annos," non nemo etiam "ante vigin- 

30 ti." Hi quoque omnes et imaginem tuam deorumque simu- 

31 lacra venerati sunt et Christo maledixerunt. Affirmabant 

32 autem hanc fuisse summam vel culpae suae vel erroris: 

33 quod essent soliti stato die ante lucem convenire carmenque 

34 Christo quasi deo dicere secum invicem; seque sacramento 

35 non in scelus aliquod obstringere, sed ne furta, ne latrocinia, 

36 ne adulteria committerent, ne fidem fallerent, ne depositum 

37 appellati abnegarent; quibus peractis, morem sibi discedendi 

38 fuisse, rursusque coeundi ad capiendum cibum, promiscuum 

39 tamen et innoxium — quod ipsum facere desisse post edict um 

40 meum, quo, secundum mandata tua, hetaerias esse vetueram. 

41 Quo magis necessarium credidi, ex duabus ancillis, quae 

42 "ministrae" dicebantur, quid esset veri et per tormenta 

43 quaerere. Nihil aliud inveni quam superstitionem pravam, 

224 National or Classical Roman Literature 

44 immodicam. Ideo, dilata cognitione, ad consulendum te 

46 decucurri. Visa est enim mihi res digna consultatione, 

46 maxime propter periclitantium numerum. Multi enim 

47 omnis aetatis, omnis ordinis, utriusque sexus etiam, vocan- 
4^8 tur in periculum et vocabuntur. Neque civitates tantum sed 
49 vicos etiam at que agros superstitionis istius contagio perva- 

60 gata est — quae videtur sisti et corrigi posse. Certe satis 

61 constat prope iam desolata templa coepisse celebrari, et 

62 sacra soUemnia diu intermissa repeti, pastumque venire 

63 victimarum, cuius adhuc rarissimus emptor inveniebatur. 

64 Ex quo facile est opinari, quae turba hominum emendari 

65 possit, si sit paenitentiae locus. 

[b] Trajan replies: 

1 Traianus Plinio S. Actum quem debuisti, mi Secunde, 

2 in excutiendis causis eorum, qui Christiani ad te delati 

3 fuerant, secutus es. Neque enim in universum aliquid, 

4 quod quasi certam formam habeat, constitui potest. Con- 
6 quirendi non sunt: si deferantur et arguantm*, puniendi sunt 

6 TT-ita tamen ut qui negaverit se Christianum esse idque re 

7 ipsa manifestum fecerit (id est supplicando diis nostris), 

8 quamvis suspectus in praeteritum, veniam ex paenitentia 

9 impetret. Sine auctore vero propositi libelli in nuUo 

10 > crimine locum habere debent. Nam et pessimi exempli nee 

11 nostri saeculi est. 

(Born in 55; active from 90-135.) 

His Life and Works 

Very little is known of the life of Juvenal. Tradition records 
that he had a brief military career, and was banished from Rome 
towards the close of his life. He is mentioned by no contemporary 
save Martial; and then not as a poet, but as an eloquent pleader 
or rhetorician. We therefore infer that Juvenal wrote his poetical 
compositions later in life, after Martial had retired from Rome 
(in 98). 

Sixth Period 225 

Juvenal was the last of the Roman satirists — i.e., of those who 
developed the distinctively Roman tradition of satiric essays in 
familiar hexameter verse (his predecessors being Lucilius, Horace, 
and Persius). He is the bitter satirist par excellence — the proto- 
type (for all occidental literature) of the rabid moralist and cynical 
pessimist, painting lurid pictures of vice and degeneracy. Though 
aided and abetted by Tacitus, Juvenal is chiefly responsible for 
that popular misconception of the wickedness of ancient Rome — • 
a conception fostered by the Christian Fathers in their diatribes 
against paganism. Hailing Juvenal as a Jeremiah, they pointed 
to Rome as the Babylon — the Sodom and Gomorrah — of the West. 
Were it not for the picture of respectable society Pliny's letters 
have left us, we might have no contrary evidence as proof that 
the lurid details in Juvenal are overdrawn. Actually, the latter's 
work is rhetorical, bookish, "and conventionalized; for JuvenaPs 
aim was not only to picture Roman life as he saw it (from a dis- 
torted point of view at that), but also^to ou;tdo his predecessors in 
the art of satiric verse; and his only opportunity for originality 
lay in heightening the rhetorical or melodramatic effect. 

JuvenaFs influence was strong from the Middle Ages through 
the eighteenth century — notably among English imitators of the 
Augustan age — , but has waned since then. At his best, he is a keen 
and effective moralist; moreover, some of t'he best-known Latin 
quotations or proverbs in use today are drawn from his works. 
It is only in their entirety, or cumulative effect, that Juvenal's 
portrayal of life and his rhetorical style have come to be dis- 
counted in modern times. 

The following poem, written in 1738 by Dr. Johnson, is in 
imitation of the Third Satire of Juvenal: 

London \ 

[Dr. Johnson commends Thales for leaving the metropolis to seek 
an abode where virtue and honesty are revered.] 

Tho' grief and fondness in my breast rebel. 
When injur 'd Thales bids the town farewell, 
Yet still my calmer thoughts his choice commend; 
I praise the hermit, but regret the friend. 

226 National or Classical Roman Literature 

Resolv'd at length from vice and London far 
' To breathe in distant fields a purer air, 
And fix'd on Cambria's ^ solitary shore, 
Give to St. David ^ one true Briton more. 

For who would leave, unbrib'd, Hibernians land, 
Or change the rocks of Scotland for the Strand? 
There none are swept by sudden fate away, 
But all, whom hunger spares, with age decay: 
Here malice, rapine, accident conspire, 
And now a rabble rages, now a fire; 
Their ambush here relentless ruffians lay, 
And here the fell attorney prowls for prey; 
Here falling houses thunder on your head. 
And here a female atheist talks you dead. 

While Thales waits the wherry that contains 
Of dissipated wealth the small remains, 
On Thames's banks, in silent thought we stood. 
Where Greenwich smiles upon the silver flood; 
Struck with the seat that gave Eliza ^ birth. 
We kneel and kiss the consecrated earth; 
In pleasing dreams the blissful age renew. 
And call Britannia's glories back to view; 
Behold her cross triumphant on the main, 
The guard of commerce, and the dread of Spain, 
Ere masquerades debauch'd, excise oppressed. 
Or English honour grew a standing jest. 

A transient calm the happy scenes bestow, 
And for a moment lull the sense of woe. 
At length awaking, with contemptuous frown. 
Indignant Thales eyes the neighboring town.^ 

Since worth, he cries, in these degenerate days 
Wants ev'n the cheap reward of empty praise; 
In those curs'd walls, devote to vice and gain, 

1 Cambria is the Latin name for Wales. 

2 St. David was the patron saint of Wales. 

3 Greenwich was the birthplace of Queen Elizabeth. 
^ I.e., London. 

Sixth Period 227 

Since unrewarded science toils in vain; 
Since hope but sooths to double my distress, 
And every moment leaves my little less; 
While yet my steady steps no staff sustains, 
And life still vigorous revels in my veins; 
Grant me, kind Heaven, to find some happier place, 
Where honesty and sense are no disgrace; 
Some pleasing bank where verdant osiers play. 
Some peaceful vale with Nature's paintings gay; 
Where once the harassed Briton found repose. 
And safe in poverty defy'd his foes; 
Some secret cell, ye pow'rs, indulgent give. 

Let live here, for — has learn'd to live. 

Here let those reign, whom pensions can incite 
To vote a patriot black, a courtier white; 
Explain their country's dear-bought rights away, 
And plead for pirates in the face of day; 
With slavish tenets taint our poison 'd youth 
And lend a lie the confidence of truth. 

Let such raise palaces, and manors buy, 
Collect a tax, or farm a lottery; 
With warbling eunuchs fill our silenc'd stage, 
And lull to servitude a thoughtless age. 

Heroes, proceed! what bounds your pride shall hold? 
What check restrain your thirst of pow'r and gold? 
Behold rebellious virtue quite overthrown. 
Behold our fame, our wealth, our lives your own. 

To such, the plunder of a land is giv'n. 
When public crimes inflame the wrath of Heaven: 
But what, my friend, what hope remains for me, 
Who start at theft, and blush at perjury? 
Who scarce forbear, tho' Britain's court he sing, 
To pluck a titled poet's borrow'd wing; 
A statesman's logic unconvinc'd can hear. 
And dare to slumber o'er the Gazeteer; 
Despise a fool in half his pension dress'd, 
And strive in vain to laugh at H y's jest. 

228 National or Classical Roman Literature 

Others with softer smiles, and subtle art, 
Can sap the principles, or taint the heart; 
With more address a lover's note convey, 
Or bribe a virgin's innocence away: 
Well may they rise, while I, whose rustic tongue 
Ne'er knew to puzzle right, or varnish wrong, 
Spurn'd as a beggar, dreaded as a spy, 
Live unregarded, unlamented die. 

For what but social guilt the friend endears? 
Who shares Orgilio's crimes, his fortune shares. 
But thou, should tempting villany present 
All Marlborough hoarded, or all Villiers spent. 
Turn from the glittering bribe thy scornful eye, 
Nor sell for gold, what gold could never buy, 
The peaceful slumber, self-approving day. 
Unsullied fame and conscience ever gay. 

The cheated nation's happy fav'rites, see! 
Mark whom the great caress, who frown on me! 
London! the needy villain's gen'ral home. 
The common-sewer of Paris and of Rome; 
With eager thirst, by folly or by fate. 
Sucks in the dregs of each corrupted state. 
Forgive my transports on a theme like this, 
I cannot bear a French metropolis. 

Illustrious Edward ! from the realms of day, 
The land of heroes and of saints survey; 
Nor hope the British lineaments to trace. 
The rustic grandeur, or the surly grace; 
But, lost in thoughtless ease and empty show 
Behold the warrior dwindled to a beau; 
Sense, freedom, piety refin'd away. 
Of France the mimic, and of Spain the prey. 

All that at home no more can beg or steal,' 
Or like a gibbet better than a wheel ; 
Hiss'd from the stage, or hooted from the court, 
Their air, their dress, their politics, import; 
» I.e., the French in London. 

Sixth Period 229 

Obsequious^ artful, voluble, and gay, 

On Britain's fond credulity they prey. 

No gainful trade their industry can 'scap6, 

They sing, they dance, clean shoes, or cure a clap: 

All sciences a fasting Monsieur knows. 

And, bid him go to Hell, to Hell he goes. 

Ah ! what avails it, that, from slavery far, 
I drew the breath of life in English air; 
Was early taught a Briton's right to prize, 
And lisp the tale of Henry's victories; 
If the guird conqueror receives the chain. 
And flattery prevails when arms are vain? 

Studious to please, and ready to submit; 
The supple Gaul was born a parasite: 
Still to his interest true, where'er he goes, 
Wit, brav'ry, worth, his lavish tongue bestows; 
In ev'ry face a thousand graces shine. 
From ev'ry tongue flows harmony divine. 
These arts in vain our rugged natives try. 
Strain out with fault'ring diffidence a lie, 
And get a kick for awkward flattery. 

Besides, with justice, this discerning age 
Admires their wond'rous talents for the stage: 
Well may they venture on the mimic's art. 
Who play from morn to night a borrow'd part; 
Practis'd their master's notions to embrace, 
Repeat his maxims and reflect his face; 
With ev'ry wild absurdity comply. 
And view each object with another's eye; 
To shake with laughter ere the jest they hear, 
To pour at will the counterfeited tear; 
And, as their patron hints the cold or heat, 
To shake in dog-days, in December sweat. 

How, when competitors like these contend, 
Can surly virtue hope to fix a friend; 
Slaves that with serious impudence beguile, 
And lie without a blush, without a smile: 

230 National or Classical Roman Literature 

Exalt each trifle, ev'ry vice adore, 
Your taste in snuff, your judgment in a whore; 
Can Balbo's eloquence applaud, and swear 
He gropes his breeches with a monarch's air. 

For arts like these preferred, admir'd, caressed. 
They first invade your table, then your breast; 
Explore your secrets with insidious art. 
Watch the weak hour, and ransack all the heart; 
Then soon your ill-plac'd confidence repay. 
Commence your lords, and govern or betray. 

By numbers here from shame or censure free, 
All crimes are safe but hated poverty. 
This, only this, the rigid law pursues. 
This, only this, provokes the snarling Muse. 
The sober trader at a tatter'd cloak 
Wakes from his dream, and labours for a joke; 
With brisker air the silken courtiers gaze, 
And turn the varied taunt a thousand ways. 
Of all the griefs that harass the distressed, 
Siu'e the most bitter is a scornful jest; 
Fate never wounds more deep the gen'rous heart. 
Than when a blockhead^s insult points the dart. 

Has Heaven reserved, in pity to the poor. 
No pathless waste, or undiscovered shore? 
No secret island in the boundless main? 
No peaceful desert yet unclaimed by Spain? 
Quick let us rise, the happy seats explore, 
And bear oppression's insolence no more. 
This mournful truth is everywhere confessed, 
Slow rises worth by poverty depress' d: 
But here more slow, where all are slaves to gold, 
Where looks are merchandise, and smiles are sold: 
Where won by bribes, by flatteries implor'd, 
The groom retails the favours of his lord. 

But hark! th' affrighted crowd's tumultuous cries 
Roll through the streets, and thunder to the skies: 
Rais'd from some pleasing dream of wealth and pow'r. 

Sixth Period 231 

Some pompous palace or some blissful bower, 

Aghast you start, and scarce with aching sight 

Sustain th' approaching fire's tremendous light; 

Swift from pursuing horrours take your way, 

And leave your little all to flames a prey; 

Then thro' the world a wretched vagrant roam, 

For where can starving merit find a home? 

In vain your mournful narrative disclose. 

While all neglect, and most insult your woes. 

Should Heaven's just bolts Orgilio's wealth confound. 

And spread his flaming palace on the ground. 

Swift o'er the land the dismal rumour flies. 

And public mournings pacify the skies; 

The laureat tribe in venal verse relate. 

How virtue wars with persecuting fate; 

With well-feign'd gratitude the pension'd band 

Refund the plunder of the beggar 'd land. 

See! while he builds, the gaudy vassals come. 

And crowd with sudden wealth the rising dome; 

The price of buroughs and of souls restore; 

And raise his treasures higher than before: 

Now bless'd with all the baubles of the great, 

The polish'd marble and the shining plate, 

Orgilio sees the golden pile aspire. 

And hopes from angry Heav'n another fire. 

Could'st thou resign the park and play content, 
For the fair banks of Severn or of Trent; 
There might'st thou find some elegant retreat, 
Some hireling senator's deserted seat; 
And stretch thy prospects o'er the smiling land. 
For less than rent the dungeons of the Strand; 
There prune thy walks, support thy drooping flowers, 
Direct thy rivulets, and twine thy bowers; 
And, while thy grounds a cheap repast afford, 
Despise the dainties of a venal lord : 
There ev'ry bush with Nature's music rings. 
There ev'ry breeze bears health upon its wings; 

232 National or Classical Roman Literature 

On all thy hours security shall smile, 
And bless thine evening walk and morning toil. 
Prepare for death if here at night you roam, 
And sign your will before you sup from home. 
Some fiery fop, with new commission vain. 
Who sleeps on brambles till he kills his man; 
Some frolic drunkard, reeling from a feast. 
Provokes a broil, and stabs you for a jest. 
Yet ev*n these heroes, mischievously gay. 
Lords of the street and terrours of the way. 
Flushed as they are with folly, youth, and wine. 
Their prudent insults to the poor confine; 
Afar they mark the flambeau's bright approach. 
And shun the shining train and golden coach. 

In vain, these dangers past, your doors you close. 
And hope the balmy blessings of repose; 
Cruel with guilt, and daring with despair, 
The midnight murderer bursts the faithless bar; 
Invades the sacred hour of silent rest, 
And leaves, unseen, a dagger in your breast. 

Scarce can our fields, such crowds at Tybm-n die, 
With hemp the gallows and the fleet supply. 
Propose your schemes, ye senatorian band. 
Whose ways and means support the sinking land. 
Lest ropes be wanting in the tempting spring. 
To rig another convoy for the king. 

A single jail, in Alfred's golden reign. 
Could half the nation's criminals contain; 
Fair Justice, then, without constraint ador'd. 
Held high the steady scale, but sheath'd the sword; 
No spies were paid, no special juries known. 
Blest age! but ah! how different from our own! 

Much could I add, — but see the boat at hand, 
The tide retiring calls me from the land : 
Farewell! — When youth, and health, and fortune spent, 
Thou fly'st for refuge to the wilds of Kent; 
And, tir'd like me with follies and with crimes, , 

Sixth Period 233 

In angry numbers warn'st succeeding times; 
Then shall thy friend, nor thou refuse his aid, 
Still foe to vice, forsake his Cambrian shade; 
In virtue^s cause once more exert his rage. 
Thy satire point, and animate thy page. 

Satira III 


1 . Quamvis digressu veteris confusus amici, 

2 laudo tamen, vacuis quod sedem figere Cumis 

3 destinet atque unum civem donare Sibyllae. 

4 lanua Baiarum est et gratum litus amoeni \\ ^^--C " ^ ^..v ^' 

5 secessus; ego vel Prochytam praepono Suburae. 

6 Nam quid tam miserum, tam solum vidimus, ut non 

7 deterius credas horrere incendia, lapsus 

8 tectorum assiduos ac mille pericula saevae 

9 Urbis et Augusto recitantes mense poetas? 

10 Sed dum tota tlomus reda componitur una, 

11 substitit ad veteres arcus madidamque Capenam. 

12 Hie, ubi nocturnae Numa constituebat amicae, 

13 nunc sacri fontis nemus et delubra locantur ^^ ^^ \^w^"V^ 

14 ludaeis, quorum cophinus foenuihque supellex 

15 (omnis enim populo mercedem pendere iussa est 

16 arbor, et eiectis men(Jicat silva Camenis). ^^^^- ^ 

17 In vallem Egeriae descendimus et speluncas 

18 dissimiles veris: quanto praesentius esset 

19 numen aquae, viridi si margine clauderet undas 

20 herba nee ingenuiim violarent marmpra tof um ! 

21 Hie tunc Umbricius: "Quando artibus,'' inquit, "honestis 

22 nullus in urbe locus, nulla emoluriienta laborum, 

23 res hodie minor est, here quam fuit, atque eadem eras 

24 deteret exiguis aliquid, propbnimus illtic 

25 ire, fatigatas ubi Daedalus exuit alas. ^ >^ ^-~ *- 

26 Dum nova canities, dum prima et recta senectus, 

27 dum superest Lachesi quod torqueat, et pedibus me 

28 porto meis, nullo dextram subeunte bacillo, 

v^ ^.^ V 

^-' ..^ 



234 National or Classical Roman Literature 

29 cedamus patria: vivant Artorius isttc 

30 et Catulus; maneant, qui nigrum in Candida vertunt, 

31 quis facile est aedem conducere, flumina, portus, 

32 siccandafn eluviem, portandum ad busta cadaver, --^-^ ^^ 

33 et praebere caput domina venale sub hasta. -. .^-^ 

34 Quondam hi cornicines et municipalis arenae _ \a>~^v-^^J 

35 perpetui comites notaeque per oppida buccae >—' ^^-^^ 

36 TQunera nunc edunt, et verso poUice vulgus v-- • 

37 quem iubet, occidunt populariter: inde reversi 

38 conducunt foricas; et cur nonjDninia? — cum sitit, 

39 quales ex humili magna ad fastigia rerum 

40 extoUit, quoties voluit Fortima iocari. 

41 Quid Romae faciam? Mentiri nescio; librum, 

42 si malus est, nequeo laudare et poscere; motus ' 

43 astrorum ignoro ; f unus promittere patris 

44 nee volo nee possum; ranarum viscera numquam 

45 inspexi; ferre ad nuptam, quae mittit adulter, ^ ' 

46 quae mandat, norunt alii; me nemo ministro "' 

47 fur erit, at que ideo nulli comes exeo, tamquam 

48 mancus et exstinctae corpus non utile dextrae. 

49 Quis nunc diligitur, nisi conscius, et cui fervens 

50 aestuat occultis animus semperque tacendis? 

51 Nil tibi se debere putat, nil conferet umquam, 

52 participem qui te secreti fecit honesti; 

53 carus erit Verri, qui Verrem tempore quo vult 

54 accusare potest. Tanti tibi non sit opaci 

55 omnis arena Tagi quodque in mare volvitur aurum, 

56 ut somno careas ponendaque praemia sumas 

57 tristis et a magno semper timearis amico. 

58 Quae nunc divitibus gens acceptissima nostris, 

59 et quos praecipue fugiam, properabo fateri, 

60 nee pudor obstabit. Non possum ferre, (^uirites, 

61 Graecam urbem (quamvis quota portio faecis Achaei?- 

62 iam pridem Syr us in Tiber im ^efluxit Orontes, 

63 et linguam et mores et cum tibicine chordas 

64 obliquas nee non gentilia tympana secum 

65 vexit et ad circum iussas prostare puellas: 

Sixth Period 235 ^.^v.^^ 

\ ,/..-^. '•' >^ \ 

66 ite, quibus grata est pi eta lupa barbara mitral). ^ 

67 Rusticus ille tuus sumit trechedipna. Quirine, "^> 

68 et ceromatico fert niceteria collo ! ~^~:: 

69 Hie alta Sieyone, ast hie Amydone reUeta, 

70 hie Andro, ille Samo, hie Trallibus aut Alabandis, 

71 Esquilias dietumque petunt a vimine eollem, 

72 viseera magnarum domuum dominique futuri. 

73 Ingenium velox, audaeia perdita, sermo 

74 promptus et Isaeo torrentior. Ecie, quid ilium 

75 esse putes? Quemvis hominem seeum attulit ad nos: 

76 grammaticus, rhetor, geometres, pietor, aliptes, 

77 augur, sehoenobates, medieus, magus: omnia novit 

78 Graeeulus esuriens; in caelum, iusseris, ibit. 

79 In summa, non Maurus erat neque Sarmata nee Thrax, 

80 qui sumpsit pinnas, mediis sed natus Athenis. 

81 Horum ego nop fugiam eohchylia? Me prior ille ^^ 

82 signabit fultusque toro meliore reeumbet, J - •' , j^^ ^ ^ 

83 adveetus Romam quo pruna et eottona vento? ^^-^^ 

84 Usque adeo nihil est, quod nostra infantia eaelum 

85 hausit Aventini, baeea nutrita Sabina? 

86 Quid quod adulandi gens prudentissima laudat 
S7 sermonem indoeti, faeiem deformis amiei; 

88 et longum invalid! eollum eervieibus aequat 

89 Herculis, Antaeum proeul a tellure tenentis; 

90 miratur voeem angustam, qua deterius nee 

91 ille sonat, quo mordetur gallina marito? 

92 Haee eadem lieet et nobis laudare: sed illis 

93 ereditur. An melior, eum Thaida sustinet aut cum 

94 uxorem eomoedus agit vel Dorida nullo 

95 cultam palliolo? Mulier nempe ipsa videtur, 

96 non persona loqui: vacua et plana omnia dieas 

97 infra ventrieulum et tenui distantia rima. ^- 

98 Nee tamen Antioehus nee erit mirabilis illic ^'" 

99 aut Stratoeles aut eum molli Demetrius Haemo: 

100 natio eomoeda est. Rides: maiore eaehinno 

101 eoneutitur; flet, si laerimas eonspexit amiei, 

102 nee dolet; ignieulum brumae si tempore poseas, 


s^ --Tr Vi- \ 

236 National or Classical Roman Literature 

-103 accipit endromidem; si dixeris 'aestuo,' sudat. 

104 Non sumus ergo pares: melior, qui semper et omni 

105 nocte dieque potest aliena sumere vultum 

106 a facie; iactare manus, laudare paratus, 

107 si bene ructavit, si rectum minxit amicus, ^ ^ ,.p 

108 si trulla in verso crepitum dedit aurea fundo, 

109 Praeterea sanctum nihil est nee ab inguine tutum: 

110 non matrona laris, non filia virgo, neque ipse 

111 sponsus levis adhuc, non filius ante pudicus; 

112 horum si nihil est, a^iam resupinat amici. 

113 Scire volunt secreta domus atque inde timeri. 

114 Et quoniam coepit Graecorum meniio, transi 

115 gymnasia atque audi f acinus maioris aboUae:' ^.^ 

116 Stoicus occidit Baream delator, amicum 

117 discipulumque senex ripa nutritus in ilia, 

118 ad quam Gorgbnei delapsa est pinna caballi! 

119 Non est Romano cuiquam locus hlc, ubi regnat 

120 Protogenes aliquis vel Diphilus aut Hermarchus, 

121 qui gfentis vitio numquam partitur amicum, 

122 solus habet; nam cum facilem stillavit in aurem 

123 exiguum de haiurae patriaeque veneno, 

124 limine summoveor, ^erierunt tehipora longi 

125 servitii; nusquam minor est iactura clientis. 

126 Quod porro officium (ne nobis blandiar) aut quod 

127 pauperis hlc meritum,'si curet nocte togatus 

128 currere, cum praetor lictorem impellat et ire 

129 praecipitem iubeat, dudum vigilantibus or bis, 

130 ne prior Albinam et Modiam collega salutet? 

131 Divitis hie servi claudit latu^ ingenuorum 

132 filius; alter enim, quantum in legione tribuni 

133 accipiunt, donat Calvinae vel CatijBnae, 

134 ut semel aut iterum super illam palpitet: at tu, 

135 cum tibi vestiti facies scorti placet, haeres 

136 et dubitas alt a Chionen deducere sella. 

137 Da testem Romae tam sanctum, quam fuit hospes 

138 numinis Idaei, procedat vel Numa vel qui 

139 servavit trepidam flagranti ex aede Miner vam: 

Sixth Period 237 

140 protinus ad censum (de moribus ultima fiet ^ " 

141 quaestio)! quot pascit servos? quot possidet agri 

142 iugera? quam multa magnaque parbpside cenat? ^ 

143 Quantum quisque sua nummorum servat in area, 

144 tantum habet et fidei; lures licet et Samothracum 

145 et nostrorum aras, contemnere fulmina pauper 

146 creditur atque deos, dis ignoscentibus ipsis. 

147 Quid quod materiam praebet causasque iocorum 

148 omnibus hie idem, si foeda et scissa lacerna, 

149 si toga sordidula est et rupta ealeeus alter ' ' "^ ' 

160 pelle patet, vel si eonsuto vulnere erassum 

161 atque reeens linum ostendit non una eieatrix? 

162 Nil habet infelix paupertas durius in se, 

163 qijam quod ridieulos homines faeit. 'Exeat/ inquit, 

164 *si pudor est, et de pulvino surgat equestri, 
166 euius res legi non suffieit^ — et sedeant hie 

166 lenonum pueri quoeumque in forniee nati; 

167 hie plaudat nitidi praeeonis filius inter 

168 pinnirapi eultos iuvenes iuvenesque lanistae: 

169 sie libitum vano, qui nos distinxit, Othoni. 

160 Quis gener hie placuit eensu minor atque puellae 

161 sareinulis iinpar? quis pauper seribitur heres? 

162 quando in eonsilio est aedilibus? Agmine faeto 

163 debuerant olim tenues migrasse Quirites. 

164 Haud faeile emergunt, quorum virtutibus obstat 
166 res angusta domi; sed Romae durior illis 

166 conatus: magno hospitium miserabile, magno 

167 servorum ventres, et frugi cenula magno. 

168 Fietilibus eenare pudet, quod turpe negabit 

169 translatus subito ad Marsos mensamque Sabellam 

170 eontentusque illle veneto duroque cucullo. 

171 Pars magna Italiae est, si verum admittimus, in qua 

172 nemo togam sumit, nisi mortuus. Ipsa dierum 

173 festorum herboso eolitur si quando theatro 

174 maiestas, tandemque redit ad pulpita notum 
176 exodium (eum personae pallentis hiatum 
176 in gremio matris formidat rustieus infans), 



- ^>X ^;.. ^ ^y^.- 



238 National or Classical Roman Literature 

V ^177 aequales habitus illic similesque videbis 

y^"^ V""^ 178 orchestram et populum; clari velamen honoris 

^ -'-^ 179 sufficiunt tunicae summis aedilibus albae. 

^^ 180 Hic ultra vires habitus nitor; hie aliquid plus ,,r" 

181 quam satis est interdum aliena sumitur area. 

^"^^'7^ 182 Commune id vitium est; hie vivimus ambitiosa 

183 paupertate omnes; (quid te moror?) omnia Romae, 

184 eum pretio. Quid das, ut Cossum aliquando salutes? 

185 ut te respieiat elauso Veiento labello? 

186 lUe metit bar bam, erinem l;iie deponit amati; 

187 plena domus libis venalibus; '^eeipe et istud 
W^^^' 188 fermentum tibi habe': praesiare tributa elientesv^ 

^^^ ii '-'-'-' 189 cogimur et cultis augere peeuiia servis..^^-: i^ liT^. 

.,j<^s^ '^"^ 190 Quis timet aut timuit gelida Praeneste ruinam, 

j^ ^\^^ J--' 191 aut positis nemorosa inter iuga Volsiniis, aut 

r^^ '' ^v 192 simplieibus Gabiis, aut proni Tiburis aree? ; 

^^ ^^° 193 Nos urbem cohmus tenui tibieine fultam \ 

194 magna parte sui; nam sie labentibus obstat ; 

195 vilieus et, veteris rimae eum texit hiatum, ^ 

196 securos pendente iubet dormire ruina. 

197 Vivendum est illie, ubi nulla ineendia, nuUi [ 

198 noete metus. lam poseit aquam, iam frivola transfert I 

199 Uealegon, tabulata tibi iam tertia fumant: I 

200 tu neseis; nam si graciibus trepidatur ab imis, 

201 ultimus ardebit, quem tegula sola tuetur ; 

202 a pluvia, moUes ubi reddunt ova eolumbae. ; 

203 Leetus erat Codro Prpeula minor, ureeoli sex, ^ 

204 ornamentum abaei, nee non et parvulus infra J 

205 eantharus et reeubans sub eodem marmore Chiron, 

. V. 

\v^> ^'i''^ 206 iamque vetus graeeos servabat eista libellos, 
^207 et divina opiei rodebant earmina mures. 


208 Nil habuit Codrus; quis enim negat? et tamen illud 

209 perdidit infeHx totum nihil : ultimus autem 

210 aerumnae est eumulus, quod nudum et frusta rogantem 

211 nemo eibo, nemo hospitio teetoque iuvabit. 

212 Si magna Asturiei eeeidit domus, horrida mater, 

213 puUati proeeres, differt vadimonia praetor; 


V V 

Sixth Period 239 

'\ ■ '■ ^ 

tunc gemimus casus urbis, tunc odimus ignem. 

215 Ardet adhuc, et iam accurrit qui marmora donet, 

216 conferat impensas: hie nuda et Candida signa, 

217 hie aliquid praeclarum Euphranoris et Polycliti, - 

218 haec Asianorum vetera ornament a deorum, 

219 hie Hbros dabit et forulos mediamque Minervam, 

220 hie modium argenti. MeHora ac plura reponit 

221 Persicus, orborum lautissimus et merito iam 

222 suspectus, tamquam ipse suas ineenderit aedes. y. v'^ V t'-^'*^ 

223 Si potes avelli circensibus, optima Sorae 

224 aut Fabrateriae domus aut Frusinone paratiif,' 

225 quanti nunc tenebras unum conducis in annum. , , ^y \ 

226 Hortulus hie puteusque brevis nee reste movendus 

227 in tenues plant as facili diffunditur haiistu. ;l -^ .> v-* >^ 

228 Vive bidentis amans et eulti viHcus horti, ^-^ ^ ^'^^ 

229 unde epulum possis centum dare Pythagoreis. 

230 Est aliquid, quocumque loco, quocumque reeessu, 

231 unius sese dominum fecisse lacertae. 

232 Plurimus hie aeger moritur vigilando (sed ipsum 

233 languorem peperit cibus imperfectus et haerens ^ 

234 ardenti stomacho), nam quae meritoria somnum 

235 admittunt? Magnis opibus dormitur in urbe. 

236 Inde caput morbi; redarum transitus arto 

237 vicorum inflexu et stantis convieia mandrae 

238 eripient somnum Druso vitulisque marinis. 

239 Si vocat officium, turba cedente vehetur 

240 dives et ingenti curret super ora Liburna, 

241 atque obiter leget aut scribet vel dormiet intus; 

242 namque facit somnum clausa lectica fenestra. 

243 Ante tamen veniet : nobis properantibus obstat 

244 unda prior, magno populus premit agmine lumbos, 

245 qui sequitur; ferit hie cubito, ferit assere duro \v. 

246 alter, at hie tignum capiti incutit, ille metretam. ;^ \ ' \ 

247 Pinguia crura luto; planta mox undique magna ^^, ^ V^ ^v-.^" ""' ^^^^ 

248 calcor et in digito elavus mihi militis haeret. ^^ ,^'^ 

249 Nonne vides, quanto eelebretur sportula fumo? ^ ^ ^v 

250 Centum eonvivae, sequitur sua quemque culina. 



240 National or Classical Roman Literature 



261 Corbulo vix ferret tot vasa ingentia, tot res 

252 impositas capiti, quas recto vertice portat 

253 servulus infelix et cursu ventilat ignem. 

254 Scinduntur tunicae sartae modo; longa coruscat 

255 serraco veniente abies, atque altera pinum 

256 plaustra vehunt; nutant alte populoque minantur. 

257 Nam si procubuit, qui saxa Ligustica portat 

258 axis, et eversum fudit super agmina montem, 

259 quid superest de corporibus? quis membra, quis ossa 

260 invenit? Obtritum vulgi perit omne cadaver 

261 tnore animae; domus interea secura patellas 

262 iam lavat et bucca foculum excitat et sonat unctis 

263 striglibus et pleno componit lintea gutto! 

264 Haec inter pueros varie properantur: at ille 

265 iam sedet in ripa tetrumque novicius hornet 

266 porthmea, nee sperat caenosi gurgitis alnum 

267 infelix, nee habet quem porrigat ore trientem. 

268 Respice nunc alia ac di versa pericula noctis: 

269 quod spatium tectis sublimibus, unde cerebrum 

270 testa ferit, quoties rimosa et curta fenestris 

271 vasa cadunt; quanto percussum pondere signeht 

272 et laedant silicem. Possis ignavus haberi 

273 et subiti casus improvidus, ad cenam si 

274 intestatus eas; adeo tot fata, quot ilia 

275 nocte patent vigiles te praietereunte fenestrae. 

276 Ergo optes votumque feras miserabile tecum, 

277 ut sint contentae patulas defundere pelves. 

278 Ebrius ac petulans, qui nullum forte cecidit, 

279 dat poenas, noctem patitur lug^ntis amicum 

280 Pelidae, cubat in faciem, mox deinde supinus. 

281 Ergo non aliter poterit dormire? Quibusdam 

282 somnum rixa facit: sed quamvis improbus annis 

283 atque mero fervens cavet hunc, quem coccina laena 

284 vitari iubet et comitum longissimus ordo, 

285 multum praeterea flammarum et aenea lampas; 

286 me, quem luna solet deducere vel breve lumen 

287 candelae, cuius dispenso et tempero filum, 


Sixth Period 241 

288 contemnit. Miserae cognosce prooemia rixae, 

289 si rixa est, ubi tu pulsas, ego vapulo tantum. 

290 Stat contra starique iubet: parere necesse est; 

291 nam quid agas, cum te furiosus cogat et idem 

292 fortior? *Unde venis?' exclamat; * cuius aceto^^ 

293 cuius conche tumes? quis tecum sectile porrum 

^^294 sutor et elixi vervecis labra comedit? ^ x.3 

295 Nil mihi respondes? aut die aut accipe calcem! ^ 

296 Ede ubi consistas; in qua te quaero proseucha?' — 

297 Dicere si temptes aliquid tacitusve recedas, '\ , j , ^^^ 

298 tantundem est : f eriunt pariter, vadimonia deinde ' 

299 irati faciunt; libertas pauperis haec est: 

300 pulsatus rogat et pugnis concisus adorat, 

301 ut liceat paucis cum dentibus inde reverti. 

302 Nee tamen haec tantum metuas; nam qui spoliet te 

303 non deerit, clausis domibus postquam omnis ubique 

304 fixa catenatae siluit compago tabernae. 

305 Interdum et ferro subitus grassator agit rem: 

306 armato quoties tutae custode tenentur 

307 et Pomptina palus et Gallinaria pinus, 

308^ sic inde hue omnes tamquam ad vivaria currunt. 
309^ "" Qua fornace graves, qua non incude catenae? 

310 Maximus in vinclis ferri modus, ut timeas, ne 

311 vomer deficiat, ne marrae et sarcula desint. 

312 Felices proavorum atavos, felicia dicas 

313 secula, quae quondam sub regibus atque tribunis 

314 yiderunt uno contentam carcere Romam. 

315 '^ His alias poteram et plures subnectere causas: 

316 sed iurhenta vocant, et sol inclinat; eundum est. . 

317 Nam mihi commota iamdudum mulio virga ^ 

318 annuit: ergo vale nostri memor, et quoties te 

319 Roma tuo refici properantem reddet Aquino, 

320 me quoque ad Helvinam Cererem vestramque Dianam 

321 converte a Cumis: satirarum ego, ni pudet illas, 

322 auditor gelidos veniam caligatus in agros.*' 



A ^V^-^- 

242 National or Classical Roman Literature 


(Born in 12) active from IOO-I40.) 
His Life and Works 

Pliny makes several pleasant references in his letters to a 
younger friend of quiet scholarly tastes and humble means, one C. 
Suetonius Tranquillus. This is the Suetonius known to posterity 
as the author of de Vita Caesarum, or The Lives of the Twelve 
Caesars (i.e., Julius Caesar and the first eleven emperors, from 
Augustus to Domitian). He published the work in about 120, 
while secretary or archivist to the Emperor Hadrian — a position 
from which he was dismissed about a year later. Nothing more 
is known of his life, but it is assumed to have been a long one. 

Suetonius was also a compiler of miscellaneous information — a 
writer of "outlines" and general compendia of knowledge, of 
which only fragments have survived. Possessing the scribe's 
humble qualities, he did not embody the more grandiose, classical 
conception of the man-of-letters as an intellectual and social 
aristocrat. In short, Suetonius is a connecting Hnk between 
classical and post-classical Roman literature, indicating the rapid 
trend toward a medieval point of view — i.e., the simple objectivity 
and uncritical attitude of the story-teller, the delight in pic- 
turesque or even bizarre details, the childish naivete concerning 
*' royalty." Biography at his hands, though intensely human, is 
far inferior in dignity to history; it is a mere assemblage of super- 
ficial facts, spiced with gossip or even scandal. Nevertheless, 
Suetonius' racy picture of the first twelve rulers of post-republican 
Rome has colored the popular concept of the Roman Empire 
ever since. 

Divus Titus 

1 Titus, cognomine paterno, amor ac deliciae generis 

2 humani — ^tantum illi ad promerendam omnium voluntatem 

3 vel ingenii vel artis vel fortunae superfuit, et, quod diffi- 

4 cillimum est, in imperio, quando privatus atque etiam sub 
6 patre principe ne odio quidem, nedum vituperatione publica 

Sixth Period 243 

6 caruit — natus est III. Kal. Ian. insigni anno Gaiana nece, 

7 prope Septizonium sordidis aedibus, cubiculo vero per- 

8 parvo et obscuro, nam manet adhuc et ostenditur; educatus 

9 in aula cum Britannico simul ac paribus disciplinis et 

10 apud eosdem magistros institutus. Quo quidem tempore 

11 aiunt metoposcopum a Narcisso Claudi liberto adhibitum, 

12 ut Britannicum inspiceret, constantissime affirmasse ilium 

13 quidem nullo modo, ceterum Titum, qui tunc prope 

14 astabat, utique imperaturum. Erant autem adeo fami- 

15 Hares, ut de potione, qua Britannicus hausta periit, Titus 

16 quoque iuxta Cubans gustasse credatur gravique morbo 

17 afl9lictatus diu. Quorum omnium mox memor statuam ei 

18 auream in Palatio posuit et alteram ex ebore equestrem, 

19 quae circensi pompa hodieque praefertur, dedicavit prose- 

20 cutusque est. In puero statim corporis animique dotes 

21 explenduerunt, magisque ac magis deinceps per aetatis 

22 gradus : forma egregia et cui non minus auctoritatis inesset 

23 quam gratiae; praecipuum robur, quamquam neque procera 

24 statura et ventre paulo proiectiore; memoria singularis; 

25 docilitas ad omnis fere tum belli tum pacis artes. Armorum 

26 et equitandi peritissimus; Latine Graeceque yel in orando 

27 vel in fingendis poematibus promptus et facilis ad extem- 

28 poralitatem usque; sed ne musicae quidem rudis, ut qui 

29 cantaret et psalleret iucunde scienterque. E pluribus com- 

30 peri, notis quoque excipere velocissime solitum, cum ama- 

31 nuensibus suis per ludum iocumque certantem, imitarique 

32 chirographa quaecumque vidisset, ac saepe profiteri maxi- 

33 mum falsarium esse potuisse. 

34 Tribunus militum et in Germania et in Britannia meruit 

35 summa industriae nee minore modestiae fama, sicut ap- 

36 paret statuarum et imaginum eius multitudine ac titulis per 

37 utramque provinciam. 

38 Post stipendia foro operam dedit honest am magis quam 

39 assiduam, eodemque tempore Arrecinam TertuUam, patre 

40 eq. R. sed praefecto quondam praetorianarum cohortium, 

41 duxit uxorem et in defunctae locum Marciam Furnillam 

42 splendidi generis; cum qua, sublata filia, divortium fecit. 

244 National or Classical Roman Literature 

43 Ex quaesturae deinde honore legioni praepositus Tari- 

44 chaeas et Gamalam urbes ludaeae validissimas in potesta- 

45 tern redegit, equo quadam acie sub feminibus amisso 

46 alteroque inscenso, cuius rector circa se dimicans occubuerat. 

47 Galba mox tenente rem p. missus ad gratulandum, 

48 quaqu^ iret convertit homines, quasi adoptionis gratia 

49 arcesseretur. Sed ubi turbari rursus cuncta sensit, redit 

50 ex itinere, aditoque Paphiae Veneris oraculo, dum de 

51 navigations consulit, etiam de imperii spe confirmatus 

52 est. Cuius brevi compos et ad perdomandam ludaeam 

53 relictus, novissima Hierosolymorum oppugnatione duo- 

54 decim propugnatores totidem sagittarum confecit ictibus, 

55 cepitque ea natali filiae suae tanto militum gaudio ac 

56 favore, ut in gratulatione imperatorem eum consalutaverint 

57 et subinde decedentem provincia detinuerint, suppliciter 

58 nee non et minaciter efiiagitantes, aut remaneret aut secum 

59 omnis pariter abduceret. Unde nata suspicio est, quasi 

60 desciscere a patre Orientisque sibi regnum vindicare temp- 

61 tasset; quam suspicionem auxit, postquam Alexandriam 

62 petens in consecrando apud Memphim bove Apide diadema 

63 gestavit, de more quidem rituque priscae religionis; sed non 

64 deerant qui sequius interpretarentur. Quare festinans in 

65 Italiam, cum Regium, dein Puteolos oneraria nave appu- 

66 lisset, Romam inde contendit expeditissimus inopinantique 

67 patri, velut arguens rumorum de se temeritatem: *'veni," 

68 inquit ''pater, veni. " Neque ex eo destitit participem at que 

69 etiam tutorem imperii agere. 

70 Triumphavit cum patre censuramque gessit un4, eidem 

71 collega et in tribunicia potest ate et in septem consulatibus 

72 fuit; receptaque ad se prope omnium officiorum cura, cum 

73 patris nomine et epistulas ipse dictaret et edicta conscriberet 

74 orationesque in senatu recitaret etiam quaestoris vice, 

75 praefecturam quoque praetori suscepit numquam ad id 

76 tempus nisi ab eq. R. administratam, egitque aliquanto 

77 incivilius et violentius, siquidem suspectissimum quemque 

78 sibi (summissis qui per theatra et castra quasi consensu ad 

79 poenam deposcerent) baud cunctanter oppressit. In his 

Sixth Period 245 

80 Aulum Caecinam consularem, vocatum ad cenam ac vixdum 

81 triclinio egressum, confodi iussit, sane urgente discrimine, 

82 cum etiam chirographum eius praeparatae apud milites 

83 contionis deprehendisset. Quibus rebus sicut in posterum 

84 securitati satis cavit, ita ad praesens plurimum contraxit 

85 invidiae, ut non temere quis tarn adverse rumore magisque 

86 invitis omnibus transierit ad principatum. 

87 Praeter saevitiam suspecta in eo etiam luxuria erat, quod 

88 ad mediam noctem comissationes cum profusissimo quoque 

89 familiarium extenderet; nee minus libido propter exoletorum 

90 et spadonum greges propterque insignem reginae Berenices 

91 amorem, cui etiam nuptias pollicitus ferebatur; suspecta 

92 rapacitas, quod constabat in cognitionibus patris nundinari 

93 praemiarique solitum; denique propalam alium Neronem 

94 et opinabantur et praedicabant. At illi ea fama pro bono 

95 cessit conversaque est in maximas laudes neque vitio uUo 

96 reperto et contra virtutibus summis. 

97 Convivia instituit iucunda magis quam profusa. Amicos 

98 elegit, quibus etiam post eum principes (ut et sibi et rei p. 

99 necessariis) acquieverunt praecipueque sunt usi. Bereni- 

100 cen statim ab urbe dimisit invitus invitam. Quosdam e 

101 gratissimis delicatorum quamquam tam artifices saltationis, 

102 ut mox scaenam tenuerint, non modo fovere prolixius, sed 

103 spectare omnino in publico coetu supersedit. 

104 Nulli civium quicquam ademit; abstinuit alieno, ut si 

105 quis umquam; ac ne concessas quidem ac solitas coUationes 

106 recepit. Et tamen nemine ante se munificentia minor, 

107 amphitheatro dedicato thermisque iuxta celeriter exstructis, 

108 munus edidit apparatissimum largissimumque; dedit et 

109 navale proelium in veteri naumachia, ibidem et gladiatores 

110 atque uno die quinque milia omne genus ferarum. 

111 Natura autem benivolentissimus, cum ex institute 

112 Tiberi omnes dehinc Caesares beneficia a superioribus 

113 concessa principibus aliter rata non haberent, quam si 

114 eadem isdem et ipsi dedissent, primus praeterita omnia uno 

115 confirmavit edicto nee a se peti passus est. In ceteris 

116 vero desideriis hominum obstinatissime tenuit, ne quem 

246 National or Classical Roman Literature 

117 sine spe dimitteret; quin et admonentibus domesticis, 

118 quasi plura poUiceretur quam praestare posset, non oportere 

119 ait quemquam a sermone principis tristem discedere; atque 

120 etiam recordatus quondam super cenam, quod nihil cuiquam 

121 toto die praestitisset, memorabilem illam merit oque lauda- 

122 tam vocem edidit: ''amici, diem perdidi." 

123 Populum imprimis universum tanta per omnis occa- 

124 siones comitate tractavit, ut proposito gladiatorio munere, 

125 non ad suum, sed ad spectantium arbitrium editurum se 

126 professus sit; et plane ita fecit. Nam neque negavit quic- 

127 quam petentibus et ut quae vellent peterent ultro adhortatus 

128 est. Quin et studium armaturae Thraecum prae se ferens 

129 saepe cum populo et voce et gestu ut fautor cavillatus est, 

130 verum maiestate salva nee minus aequitate. Ne quid 

131 popularitatis praetermitteret, nonnumquam in thermis suis 

132 admissa plebe lavit. 

133 Quaedam sub eo fortuita ac tristia acciderunt, ut con- 

134 flagratio Vesuvii montis in Campania, et incendium Romae 

135 per triduum totidemque noctes, item pestilentia quanta 

136 non temere alias. In iis tot adversis ac talibus non modo 

137 principis sollicitudinem sed et parentis affectum unicum 

138 praestitit, nunc consolando per edicta, nunc opitulando 

139 quatenus suppeteret facultas. Curatores restituendae Cam- 

140 paniae e consularium numero sorte duxit; bona oppressorum 

141 in Vesuvio, quorum heredes non exstabant, restitutioni 

142 afflictarum civitatium attribuit. Urbis incendio nihil 

143 pubUce nisi perisse testatus, cuncta praetoriorum suorum 

144 ornament a operibus ac templis destinavit praeposuitque 

145 compluris ex equestri ordine, quo quaeque maturius pera- 

146 gerentur. Medendae valitudini leniendisque morbis nullam 

147 divinam humanamque opem non adhibuit, inquisito omni 

148 sacrificiorum remediorumque genere. 

149 Inter ad versa temporum et delatores mandatoresque 

150 erant ex Ucentia veteri. Hos assidue in foro flagellis ac 

151 fustibus caesos ac novissime traductos per amphitheatri 

152 harenam partim subici ac venire imperavit, partim in as- 

153 perrimas insularum avehi. Utque etiam simiha quandoque 

Sixth Period 247 

154 ausuros perpetuo coerceret, vetuit inter cetera de eadem re 

155 pluribus legibus agi quaerive de cuiusquam defunctorum 

156 statu ultra certos annos. 

157 Pontificatum maximum ideo se professus accipere ut 

158 puras servaret manus, fidem praestitit, nee auctor posthac 

159 cuiusquam necis nee conscius, quamvis interdum ulciscendi 

160 causa non deesset, sed periturum se potius quam perditurum 

161 adiurans. Duos patricii generis convictos in affectatione 

162 imperii nihil amplius quam ut desisterent monuit, docens 

163 principatum fato dari, si quid praeterea desiderarent promit- 

164 tens se tributurum. Et confestim quidem ad alterius 

165 matrem quae procul aberat, cursores suos misit, qui anxiae 

166 salvum filium nuntiarent, ceterum ipsos non solum fami- 

167 liari cenae adhibuit, sed et insequenti die gladiatorum 

168 spectaculo circa se ex industria conlocatis oblata sibi ferra- 

169 menta pugnantium inspicienda porrexit. Dicitur etiam 

170 cognita utriusque genitura imminere ambobus periculum 

171 affirmasse, verum quandoque et ab alio, sicut evenit. 

172 Fratrem insidiari sibi non desinentem, sed paene ex 

173 professo sollicitantem exercitus, meditantem fugam, neque 

174 occidere neque seponere ac ne in minore quidem honore 

175 habere sustinuit, sed, ut a primo imperii die, consortem suc- 

176 cessoremque testari perse vera vit, nonnumquam secreto 

177 precibus et lacrimis orans, ut tandem mutuo erga se animo 

178 vellet esse. Inter haec morte praeventus est maiore homi- 

179 num damno quam suo. 

180 Spectaculis absolutis, in quorum fine populo coram 

181 ubertim fleverat, Sabinos petit aliquanto tristior, quod 

182 sacrificanti hostia aufugerat quodque tempestate serena 

183 tonuerat. Deinde ad primam statim mansionem febrim 

184 nanctus, cum inde lectica transferretur, suspexisse dicitur 

185 dimotis pallulis caelum, multumque conquestus eripi sibi 

186 vitam immerenti; neque enim exstare ullum suum factum 

187 paenitendum excepto dumtaxat uno. Id quale fuerit, 

188 neque ipse tunc prodidit neque cuiquam facile succurrat. 

189 Quidam opinantur consuetudinem recordatum, quam cum 

190 fratris uxore habuerit; sed nullam habuisse persancte 

248 National or Classical Roman Literature 

191 Domitia iurabat, baud negatura, si qua omnino fuisset, 

192 immo etiam gloriatura, quod illi promptissimum erat in 

193 omnibus probris. 

194 Excessit in eadem qua pater villa Id. Sept. post biennium 

195 ac menses duos diesque XX quam successerat patri, altero 

196 et quadragesimo aetatis anno. Quod ut palam factum est, 

197 non secus atque in domestico luctu maerentibus publice 

198 cunctis, senatus prius quam edicto convocaretur ad curiam 

199 concurrit, obseratisque adhuc foribus, deinde apertis, tantas 

200 mortuo gratias egit laudesque congessit, quantas ne vivo 

201 quidem umquam atque praesenti. 


(Dates unknown.) 
His Contribution to Roman Law 

The Romans made their greatest and most original contribu- 
tion to civilization in the field of law; on this all scholars are 
agreed. The codes of law in force today in France, Belgium, 
Germany, Austria, Spain, South America, Italy, and Japan — the 
list might even be extended further — , are all modifications and 
adaptations of the Roman Corpus luris, as codified at Constanti- 
nople under Justinian (Emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire), 
in the sixth century of the Christian era. This codification — ^the 
last step in the evolution of Roman law — comprised four major 
divisions : (1) the Institutes,^ or introductory textbook for students; 
(2) the Digest — sometimes called the Pandects — , or compendium 
of decisions and opinions; (3) the Code, or revised laws promul- 
gated by Justinian himself; and (4) the Novels, or appendix to the 
Code. Roman law had been a living, growing organism for over a 
thousand years. Like its only modern rival, the common law of 
Great Britain (and the United States), it kept pace with the 
growth and needs of contemporary society; unlike our common 

1 Remember that institutiones is the regular Latin word for instructions^ and 
therefore an obvious title for any textbook (cf. Quintilian's Institutiones Oror- 

Sixth Period 249 

law, however, it was subject to successive codifications and revi- 
sions, of which Justinian's was merely the last. 

A voluminous technical literature of the law existed during the 
entire course of Roman history. It owed nothing to the Greek, 
having developed by force of necessity a lucid style of its own, 
truly Latin and classic in its terseness and effectiveness. Natur- 
ally the final codification under Justinian supplanted all earlier 
codifications and legal literature. Only one important work 
preceding Justinian's Corpus luris has been preserved, and 
the story of its discovery is one of the great romances of 
scholarship. In 1816, in the cathedral library of Verona, the 
German historian Niebuhr thought he detected indications of an 
earlier text beneath the Epistles of St. Jerome — in other words, 
that the manuscript was a palimpsest. Chemical tests revealed 
the older writing to be an early sixth-century copy of the Insti- 
tutes of Gains, 2 a famous second-century textbook, of which 
Justinian's Institutes were a revision. 

Composed in a simpler and more classic style than Justinian's 
revision, this earlier work is well worth reading. The chrono- 
logical difference between its date of publication (150) and the 
limit of the literary period to which we have confined our survey of 
Roman literature (125), is relatively slight and insignificant; more- 
over, the Institutes of Gains are truly representative of the best 
legal literature of the Roman Empire — at least of that type not 
too technical to interest a layman, which is the test of so-called 
"literature" in any professional field. 

TAe Institutes 


Preliminary Definitions 
[a] Local and Universal Law 

[Nothing is more misleading than conventional technical terms. 
Like all other Roman jurists. Gains defines with utmost clarity 
2 Nothing is known of the author, not even the rest of his name. 

250 National or Classical Roman Literature 

ius civile as local, or national, law — i.e., that peculiar to a given 
community or nation; and ius gentium as universal law — ^i.e., that 
common to all nations and peoples. Yet all modern translators 
insist upon the conventional phrases civil law and law of nations, 
despite the fact that these have acquired a connotation very 
different from the classical Latin in the course of centuries. 
Civil law now means the law of the land in time of peace, as con- 
trasted with martial law; law of nations, international law — i.e., 
that governing the conduct of nations one with another, as con- 
trasted with that governing individuals.] 

1 Omnes populi qui legibus et moribus reguntur partim sue 

2 proprio, partim communi omnium hominum iure utuntur, 

3 nam quod quisque populus ipse sibi ius constituit, id ipsius 

4 proprium est vocaturque ius civile, quasi ius proprium civi- 

5 tatis; quod vero naturalis ratio inter omnes homines consti- 

6 tuit, id apud omnes populos peraeque custoditur vocaturque 

7 ius gentium quasi quo iure omnes gentes utuntur. Populus 

8 itaque Romanus partim suo proprio, partim communi om- 

9 nium hominum iure utitur: quae singula qualia sint, suis 
10 locis proponemus. 

[b] Types of Roman Legislation 

1 Constant autem iura populi Romani ex legibus, plebiscitis, 

2 senatus consultis, constitutionibus principum, edictis eorum 

3 qui ius edicendi habent, responsis prudentium. 

4 Lex est quod populus iubet atque constituit. Plebiscitum 

5 est quod plebs iubet atque constituit. Plebs autem a populo 

6 eo distat, quod populi appellatione universi cives significan- 

7 tur, connumeratis etiam patriciis; plebis autem appellatione 

8 sine patriciis ceteri cives significantur. Unde olim patricii 

9 dicebant plebiscitis se non teneri, quae sine auctoritate 

10 eorum facta essent; sed postea Lex Hortensia lata est, qua 

11 cautum est ut plebiscita universum populum tenerent; 

12 itaque eo modo legibus exaequata sunt. 

13 Senatus consultum est quod senatus iubet atque consti- 

14 tuit, idque legis vicem obtinet, quamvis fuerit quaesitum. 

15 Constitutio principis est quod imperator decreto vel 

Sixth Period 251 

16 edicto vel epistula constituit; nee umquam dubitatum est 

17 quin id legis vicem obtineat, cum ipse imperator per legem 

18 imperium accipiat. 

19 lus autem edicendi habent magistratus populi Romani, 

20 sed amplissimum ius est in edictis duorum praetorum, ur- 

21 bani et peregrini; quorum iurisdictionem in provinciis 

22 praesides earum habent; item in edictis aedilium curulium, 

23 quorum iurisdictionem in provinciis populi Romani quaes- 

24 tores habent, nam in provinciis Caesaris omnino quaestores 

25 non mittuntur, et ob id hoc edictum in his provinciis non 

26 proponitur. 

27 Responsa prudentium sunt sententiae et opiniones eorum 

28 quibus permissum est iura condere; quorum omnium si in 

29 unum sententiae concurrant, id quod ita sentiunt legis vicem 

30 obtinet ; si vero dissentiunt, iudici licet quam velit sententiam 

31 sequi, idque rescripto Divi Hadriani significatur. 

Patria Potestas 

1 Item in potestate nostra sunt liberi nostri quos iustis nup- 

2 tiis procreavimus. Quod ius proprium civium Romanorum 

3 est ; fere enim nulli alii sunt homines, qui talem in j&lios suos 

4 habent potestatem, qualem nos habemus 

5 Praeterea exeunt liberi virilis sexus de patris potestate, si 

6 flamines Diales inaugurentur, et feminini sexus, si virgines 

7 Vestales capiantur. Olim quoque, quo tempore populus 

8 Romanus in Latinas regiones colonias deducebat, qui iussu 

9 parentis in Latinam coloniam nomen dedissent, desinebant 

10 in potestate parentis esse, quia efficerentur alterius civitatis 

1 1 cives. 

12 Praeterea emancipatione quoque desinunt liberi in 

13 potestate parentium esse, et filius quidem tribus mancipa- 

14 tionibus, ceteri vero liberi (sive masculini sexus sive feminini) 

15 una mancipatione exeunt de parentium potestate; Lex enim 

16 XII Tabularum tantum in persona filii de tribus mancipa- 

17 tionibus loquitur his verbis: ** si pater filium ter venumdabit, 

18 fihus a patre liber esto." Eaque res ita agitur: mancipat 

252 National or Classical Roman Literature 

19 pater filium alicui; is eum vindicta manumittit; eo facto 

20 revertitur in potestatem patris. Is eum iterum mancipat vel 

21 eidem vel aliis (sed in usu est eidem mancipare), isque eum 

22 postea similiter vindicta manumittit. Postea, cum rursus in 

23 potestatem patris fuerit reversus, tertio pater eum mancipat 

24 vel eidem vel alii (sed etiam hoc in usu est ut eidem manci- 

25 petur) ; eaque mancipatione desinit in potestate patris esse, 

26 etiam si nondum manumissus sit et adhuc in causa mancipii. 


1 Permissum est itaque parentibus, liberis (quos in potes- 

2 tate habent) testamento tutores dare, masculini quidem 

3 sexus impuberibus dumtaxat, feminini autem etiam puberi- 

4 bus, veteres enim voluerunt feminas, etiam si perfect ae aeta- 

5 tis sint, propter animi levitatem in tutela esse. Itaque si 

6 quis fdio filiaeque testamento tutorem dederit et ambo ad 

7 pubertatem pervenerint, filius quidem desinit habere tuto- 

8 rem, filia vero nihilominus in tutela permanet, tantum enim, 

9 ex Lege lulia et Papia Poppaea, iure liberorum a tutela 

10 liberantur feminae. Loquimur autem exceptis virginibus 

1 1 Vestalibus, quas etiam veteres in honorem sacerdotii liberas 

12 esse voluerunt; itaque etiam Lege XII Tabularum cautum 

13 est. 

14 Nepotibus autem neptibusque ita demum possumus testa- 

15 mento tutores dare, si post mortem nostram in patris sui 

16 potestatem iure recasuri non sint. Itaque si filius meus 

17 mortis meae tempore in potestate mea sit, nepotes quos ex 

18 eo habeo non poterunt ex testamento meo habere tutorem, 

19 quamvis in potestate mea fuerint, scilicet quia mortuo me in 

20 patris sui potestate futuri sunt. 

21 Ne tamen et pupillorum et eorum qui in curatione sunt 

22 negotia a tutoribus curatoribusque consumantur aut de- 

23 minuantur, curat praetor ut et tutores et curatores eo no- 

24 mine satisdent. Sed hoc non est perpetuum, nam et tutores 

25 testamento dati satisdare non coguntur, quia fides eorum et 

Sixth Period 253 

26 diligentia ab ipso testatore probata est; et curatores ad quos 

27 non e lege curatio pertinet, sed vel a consule vel a praetore 

28 vel a praeside provinciae dantur, plerumque non coguntur 

29 satisdare, scilicet quia satis honesti electi sunt. 

Legacies and Wills 

1 Incertae personae legatum inutiliter relinquitur. Incerta 

2 autem videtur persona, quam per incertam opinionem animo 

3 suo testator subicit, velut cum ita legatum sit: ''qui primus 

4 ad funus meum venerit, ei heres meus decem milia dato." 

5 Idem iuris est, si generaliter omnibus legaverit : '* quicumque 

6 ad funus meum venerit/' In eadem causa est quod ita re- 

7 linquitur: "quicumque filio meo in matrimonium filiam 

8 suam coUocaverit, ei heres meus decem milia dato.'' Illud 

9 quoque in eadem causa est quod ita relinquitur: "qui post 

10 testamentum consules designati erunt," nam aeque incertis 

1 1 personis legari videtur. Et denique aliae multae huiusmodi 

12 species sunt. Sub certa vero demonstratione incertae 

13 personae recte legatur, veluti: "ex cognatis meis, qui nunc 

14 sunt, qui primus ad funus meum venerit, ei decem milia 

15 heres meus dato." 

16 Poenae quoque nomine inutiliter legatur. Poenae autem 

17 nomine legari videtur quod coercendi heredis causa relin- 

18 quitur, quo magis heres aliquid faciat aut non faciat, veluti 

19 quod ita legatur : " si heres meus filiam Titio in matrimonium 

20 coUocaverit, decem milia Seio dato," vel ita: "si filiam Titio 

21 in matrimonium non coUocaverit, decem milia Titio dato." 

22 At qui directo testamento liber esse iubetur, velut hoc 

23 modo, ' ' Stichus servus liber esto, ' ' vel hoc, ' ' Stichum servum 

24 meum liberum esse iubeo,'' is ipsius testatoris fit libertus. 

25 Nee alius ullus directo ex testamento libertatem habere 

26 potest quam qui utroque tempore testatoris ex iure quiritium 

27 fuerit, et quo faceret testamentum et quo moreretur. 

254 National or Classical Roman Literature 

28 Nunc de libertorum bonis videamus. Olim itaque licebat 

29 liberto patronum suum impune testamento praeterire. 

30 Nam ita demum Lex XII Tabularum ad hereditatem liberti 

31 vocabat patronum, si intestatus mortuus esset libertus, 

32 nullo suo herede relicto. Itaque intestato quoque mortuo 

33 liberto, si is suum heredem reliquerat, nihil in bonis eius 

34 patrono iuris erat. Et si quidem ex naturalibus liberis ali- 

35 quem suum heredem reliquisset, nulla videbatur esse querela; 

36 si vero vel adoptivus filius filiave vel uxor quae in manu esset 

37 sua heres esset, aperte iniquum erat nihil iuris patrono super- 

38 esse. Qua de causa postea praetoris edicto haec iuris iniqui- 

39 tas emendata est. Sive enim faciat testamentum libertus, 

40 iubetur ita testari ut patrono suo partem dimidiam bonorum 

41 suorum relinquat; et, si aut nihil aut minus quam partem 

42 dimidiam relinqueret, datur patrono contra tabulas testa- 

43 menti partis dimidiae bonorum possessio. Si vero intesta- 

44 tus moriatur, suo herede relicto adoptivo filio vel uxore quae 

45 in manu ipsius esset vel nuru quae in manu filii eius fuerit, 

46 datur aeque patrono adversus hos suos heredes partis dimi- 

47 diae bonorum possessio. Prosunt autem liberto ad exclu- 

48 dendum patronum naturales liberi, non solum quos in po- 

49 testate mortis tempore habet, sed etiam emancipati et in 

50 adoptionem dati, si mod6 aliqua ex parte heredes scripti sint 

51 aut praeteriti contra tabulas testamenti bonorum posses- 

62 sionem ex edicto petierint, nam exheredati nullo modo repel- 

63 lunt patronum. 

54 Postea Lege Papia aucta sunt iura patronorum quod ad 

55 locupletiores libertos pertinet. Cautum est enim ea lege, 

56 ut ex bonis eius qui sestertium centum milibus amplius 

57 patrimonium reliquerit et pauciores quam tres liberos habe- 

58 bit, sive is testamento facto sive intestato mortuus erit, 

59 virilis pars patrono debeatur. Itaque cum unum filium 

60 unamve filiam heredem reliquerit libertus, perinde pars 

61 dimidia patrono debetur, ac si sine uUo filio filiave moreretur; 

62 cum vero duos duasve heredes reliquerit, tertia pars debetur; 

63 si tres reliquat, repellitur patronus. 

Sixth Period 255 

Verbal Contracts 

1 Verbis obligatio fit ex interrogatione et responsione, veluti 

2 "dari spondes? spondeo," ''dabis? dabo," ''promittis? 

3 promitto/' . . . "fide iubes? fide iubeo/' ''fades? faciam," 

4 Sed haec quidem verborum obligatio *'dari spondes? spon- 

5 deo" propria civium Rojnanorum est, ceterae vero iuris 

6 gentium sunt, itaque inter omnes homines sive cives 

7 Romanos sive peregrinos valent; et quamvis ad graecam 

8 vocem expressae fuerint, velut hoc modo "6ajo-ets; Scbo-o)," 

9 ^'djJLoXoyets; o/JLoXoyoo/' "Trto-ret KeXevets; irlaTei KeXevoj^" 
10 "TOLr}(T€Ls; TTOLrja-Q}/' etiam haec tamen inter cives Romanos 
1,1 valent, si modo Graeci sermonis intellectum habeant. Et e 

12 contrario quamvis latine enuntientur, tamen etiam inter 

13 peregrinos valent, si modo Latini sermonis intellectum habe- 

14 ant. At ilia verborum obligatio ''dari spondes? spondeo" 

15 adeo propria civium Romanorum est, ut ne quidem in 

16 Graecum sermonem per interpretationem proprie transferri 

17 possit. 

18 Si id quod dari stipulamur tale sit ut dari non possit, 

19 inutilis est stipulatio, velut si quis hominem liberum, quem 

20 servum esse credebat, aut mortuum, quem vivum esse crede- 

21 bat, aut locum sacrum vel religiosum, quem putabat humani 

22 iuris esse, dari stipuletur. 

23 Adhuc inutilis est stipulatio, si quis ad id quod interroga- 

24 tus erit non responderit, velut si sestertia decem a te dari 

25 stipuler, et tu sestertia quinque promittas; aut si ego pure 

26 stipuler, tu sub condicione promittas. 

27 Mutum neque stipulari neque promittere posse palam est. 

28 Idem etiam in surdo receptum est, quia et is qui stipulatur 

29 verba promittentis, et qui promittit verba stipulantis exau- 

30 dire debet. Furiosus nullum negotium gerere potest, quia 

31 non intelligit quid agat. Pupillus omne negotium recte 

256 National or Classical Roman Literature 

32 gerit, ita tamen ut tutor, sicubi tutoris auctoritas necessaria 

33 sit, adhibeatur, velut si ipse obligetur; nam alium sibi obli- 

34 gare etiam sine tutoris auctoritate potest. Idem iuris est in 

35 feminis quae in tutela sunt. Sed quod diximus de pupillo 

36 utique de eo verum est qui iam aliquem intellect um habet, 

37 nam infans et qui infanti proximus est non multum a furioso 

38 differt, quia huius aetatis pupilli nullum intellectum habent. 


Purchase and Sale 

1 Emptio venditio contrahitur cum de pretio convenerit, 

2 quamvis nondum pretium numeratum sit ac ne arra quidem 

3 data fuerit, nam quod arrae nomine datur argumentum est 

4 emptionis et venditionis contractae. Pretium autem certum 

5 esse debet; nam alioquin si inter eos convenerit, ut quanti 

6 Titius rem aestimaverit, tanti sit empta, Labeo negavit ul- 

7 lam vim hoc negotium habere, cuius opinionem Cassius 

8 probat. Ofilius et eam emptionem et venditionem esse 

9 putavit, cuius opinionem Proculus secutus est. Item pre- 

10 tium in numerata pecunia consistere debet; nam in ceteris 

11 rebus an pretium esse possit (veluti an homo aut toga aut 

12 fundus alterius rei pretium esse possit), valde quaeritur. 

13 Nostri praeceptores put ant etiam in alia re posse consistere 

14 pretium; unde illud est quod vulgo put ant, per permutatio- 

15 nem rerum emptionem et venditionem contrahi eamque spe- 

1 6 ciem emptionis et vendition is vetustissimam esse, argumento- 

17 que utuntur Graeco poet a Homero. Diversae scholae 

1 8 auctores dissentiunt aliudque esse existimant permutationem 

19 rerum, aHud emptionem et venditionem; aUoquin non posse 

20 rem expediri, permutatis rebus, quae videatur res venisse et 

21 quae pretii nomine data esse; sed rursus utramque videri 

22 venisse et utramque pretii nomine datam esse, absurdum 

23 videri. Sed ait CaeHus Sabinus, si rem tibi venalem habenti 

24 (veluti fundum) accesserim et pretii nomine hominem forte 

25 dederim, fundum quidem videri venisse, hominem autem 

26 pretii nomine datum esse. 

Sixth Period 257 


1 Furtum autem fit, non solum cum quis inter cipiendi causa 

2 rem alienam amovet, sed generaliter cum quis rem alienam 

3 invito domino contractat. Itaque si quis re quae apud eum 

4 deposita sit utatur, furtum committit. Et si quis utendam 
6 rem acceperit eamque in alium usum transtulerit, furti 

6 obligatur, veluti si quis argentum utendum acceperit quasi 

7 amicos ad cenam invitaturus, et id peregre secum tulerit ; aut 

8 si quis equum gestandi gratia commodatum longius aliquo 

9 duxerit, quod veteres scripserunt de eo qui in aciem per- 

10 duxisset. Placuit tamen, eos qui rebus commodatis aliter 

1 1 uterentur quam utendas accepissent, ita furtum committere, 

12 si intelligant id se invito domino facere, eumque, si intellexis- 

13 set, non permissurum; at si permissurum credant, extra furti 

14 crimen videri — optima sane distinctione, quia furtum sine 

15 dolo malo non committitur. Sed etsi credat aliquis invito 

16 domino se rem contrectare, domino autem volente id fiat, 

17 dicitur furtum non fieri. Unde illud quaesitum est, cum 

18 Titius servum meum sollicitaverit ut quasdam res mihi 

19 subriperet et ad eum perferret, et servus id ad me pertulerit, 

20 ego, dum volo Titium in ipso delicto deprehendere, permi- 

21 serim servo quasdam res ad eum perferre, utrum furti an 

22 servi corrupti iudicio teneatur Titius mihi, an neutro. 

23 Responsum, neutro eum teneri: furti, ideo quod non invito 

24 me res contrectaret ; servi corrupti, ideo quod deterior servus 

25 f actus non est. 


The national Roman literature we have surveyed is the 
foundation of all subsequent literature in the Latin tongue. 
Arising, as we have seen, from a union of primitive Latin and 
'^classic" Greek, it was the mirror of Greco-Roman civilization 
and became the "classic'^ literature of the occidental world — 
exerting a deeper and stronger influence than any other literature 
probably ever will. No period of national Roman literature was 
without masterpieces that became the models of almost all subse- 
quent literary form and style. 

We have traced this literature through four centuries of vigorous 
life. It ended as abruptly as it had begun. The last creative im- 
pulse, bursting forth in the auspicious reign of Trajan (from 98- 
117) to produce the silver age, was short-lived. Pliny died 
before the accession of Hadrian, Tacitus soon after; Juvenal and 
Suetonius carried on literary activities, begun under Trajan, for 
another generation. But on the whole, the reign of Hadrian 
(from 117-138) was sterile in productions from the Latin pen; 
and belles-lettres petered out into antiquarianism and pedantry.^ 

The causes that brought national Roman literature to a close 
were primarily political. Now rapidly losing the stamp of 
Roman nationalism, the Empire itself was becoming an interna- 
tional bureaucracy, in which Hellenistic and Oriental elements 
were in the ascendancy. Moreover Christianity had come out of 
the Orient and was sweeping over the West, causing a decline in 
critical and creative ability; for Christianity represented the com- 
mon people, who were not only uneducated but also deeply mis- 
trusted the pagan intelligentsia. Gradually the balance shifted 
from ancient pagan tradition to the new Christian outlook; and 

1 The wane of Latin literature was accompanied, however, by a revival of the 
Greek; and the pagan aspect of second-centiuy civilization found expression in 
the works of Plutarch, Lucian, Marcus AureUus, and others. 


260 National or Classical Roman Literature 

after the third century, both Greek and Roman literature dealt 
almost wholly with the story and problems of Christianity. 

After a life span of three centuries — ^terminated by the barba- 
rian invasions and fall of the Roman Empire — , the Latin litera- 
ture of the Christian, or Patristic, era was destined to be followed 
in turn by that of the medieval, Renaissance, and modern eras — a 
mighty stream emanating from the perennial fountain of national 
Roman literature. 



Boldface indicates lemmata — i.e., words or phrases com- 
mented on. Where no lemma occurs, a note is on the entire 
passage or line. 

Italic indicates: (1) English translations; (2) Latin syno- 
nyms and equivalents — e.g., Miles, 1. 33: vivere, esse; (3) 
Latin and other foreign words in English sentences; and 
(4) titles of literary works. 

Leaders indicate: (1) correlatives — e.g.: cum . . . timi, not 
only . . . hut also; (2) tmesis — i.e., the separation of parts of a 
compound word by the intervention of one or more words, 
— e.g.: qui . . , ciunque, quicumque; and (3) words included 
within a lemma — e.g., Miles, 1. 1: Ubi . . . est, Ubi Artotro- 
gus nunc est. 

Square brackets indicate words supplied to expand or 
complete a phrase — e.g., Miles, 1. 4: ad tuas [virtutes]. 




Chapter I 

1. sese, the subject of praestare 

2. ope, power, silentio, i.e., ob- 

3. pecora, " the beasts of the field." 
4-5. animi imperio utimur, lit., we 

use the governance of the mind — ^i.e., we 
use the mind for governance. 

6. helusif animal. 

7. mgeni ... opibus, hy powers of 
intellect rather than of brute strength. 

8. nostri, the genitive of nos. 

9. formae, beauty. 

11-12. vi-ne . . . animi, note the 
efforts of Sallust the stylist to vary 
his expressions: vis corporis (1. 11) 
= vires (1. 7), and virtus animi (1. 12) 
= ingenium (1. 7). 

12. res militaris, the conduct of war. 
magis procederet, lit., succeeds more 
by — ^i.e., depends more on . . . for its 

13. incipias, begin to act. The sub- 
ject is indefinite you or one. consulto 
[opus est], there is need of planning. 
In Ciceronian prose the complemen- 
tary infinitive would be used — i.e., 
consulere opu^ est; Sallust purposely 
revives an obsolete construction (see 
Terence's Adelphoe^ Vol. I, p. 124, 1. 

13-14. mature facto, acting 

14. indigens, carens, lacking. 

15. eget, needs. 

Chapter II 

1. nomen, title. 

1-2. nam . . . fuit, Sallust mentions 
this fact because it indicates the 
starting point of history and civiliza- 
tion. Before the appearance of an 
imperium (government) among men, 
there was nothing worth recording; 
that event signalized man's emergence 
from the brute state. 

2. diversi, lit., having diverged — i.e., 
in different fashion. pars,oZu. etiam, 

3. sine cupiditate, therefore brains 
and brawn had about an even chance. 


own possessions. 

4. Postea . . . quam, postquam. 

6. libidinem, the object of habere 
(depending on coepere) . causam, as a 

8. periculo atque negotiis, by the 
test of experience, plurimimi, adverb, 
with posse. 

11-12. res himianae, human af- 
fairs, constantius sese haberent, 
constantiores essent. 

12. aliud alid ferri, lit., one thing be 
carried in one direction^ another in a 
different direction — i.e., shifts of for- 

13. misceri, be confused. 
15. pro, in place of. 

17. bono, capable. 

19. Quae arant . . . , English idiom 
makes greater use of abstract nouns — 
e.g., agriculture, navigation^ and archi- 

20. parent, obey. 

21. peregrinantes, travelers — ^i.e., 
homeless, transiere, from transeo. 



Notes: Livy (Ab Urbe Condita) 

22. quibus, for whom, in whose case. 
anima, soul. 

23. iuxta., alike. 

24. siletur, i.e., there is nothing 
worth knowing. Verum enim vero 
(or verumenimvero) , however. 

26. facinoris, deed (as in Plautus). 

27. rerum, opportunities. 

Chapter III 

I. bene dicere, bene facere verbis, 
be eloquent in behalf of one's country. 

6. res gestas, history. 

6-7. facta dictis exaequanda, words 
must rise to the height of deeds. 

7. dehinc, deinde. plerique, most 
people f the subject of putant. 

7-8. quae delicta . . . dicta [esse], 
ht., what faults you criticize are men- 
tioned {by you) with malice. The sen- 
tence would be more in accord with 
English idiom if it were written thus: 
Delictorum reprehensiones malivolentid 
dictas. In the time of Sallust, history 
was not yet looked upon as a science; 
historians were regarded more as 
writers of personal memoirs are today 
— i.e., as having an axe to grind. 

9. bonorum, supply hominum. 

II. pro falsis ducit, regards as 

12. studio, by my inclinations. 
12-13. rem publicam, public life. 

14. lai'gitio, i.e., bribery. 

15. animus, supply meus. 

16-17. imbecilla aetas, my inex- 
perienced youth. 

17. cimi, although. 

18-19. honoris cupido, my political 

19. fama, ill repute 


3. consilium, my intention, socor- 
dia, desidia, these are synonyms for 

4-5. agrum colendo . . . intentiun, 

devoted to farming or hunting. Here 

Sallust disagrees with Cicero and 
Xenophon. In his Cato Maior, the 
former praised farming as an ideal oc- 
cupation for old age; and the latter 
devoted himself to hunting and other 
occupations of a country squire upon 
his retirement. 

5. officiis, occupations. 

6. mala, accursed — as is all ambi- 

7. carptim, piecemeal — i.e., in sepa- 
rate essays. 

7-8. quaeque, various episodes. 

9. partibus rei publicae, partisan- 

11. paucis [verbis] absolvam, I shall 
treat briefly. 

Chapter V 

3. grata, neuter plural. 

4. Corpus, supply fuit. 

5. quam, than. 

6. cuius rei libet, cuiuslibet rei. 

7. eMem, of others' property. sui,o/ 
his own property. 

8. satis . . . , supply he had. Vastus 
animus, his strange, abnormal nature. 



Legends of Early Rome 

[a] The Combat of the Horatii and 

1. trigemini, triplets. 

3. fuisse, i.e., named, constat, 
impersonal, res, event, story, nobi- 
lior, better known. 

4. nominum, of identity, utrius 
populi, of which nationality? 

5. Horatii, nominative plural. utr6- 
que, lit., in both directions. 

7. agunt, plead, reges, the King of 
Rome (Tullus Hostilius) and the King 
of Alba Longa. 

Notes: Livy (Ab Urbe Condita) 


8-9. ibi . . . fuerit, this is indirect 
discourse, giving the substance of 
what the kings said to the Horatii and 
Curiatii. ibi . . . tinde, on that side . . . 
an which. The battle of the cham- 
pions would decide the question of 

9. Nihil recusatur, i.e., the cham- 
pions do not refuse. 

11. legibus, ferms. cuiusque, cums- 

14. Cum . . . adhortarentur, lit., 
while their-ovm-men encouraged each- 
group-of -triplets. 

14-16. decs . . . manus, this is in- 
direct discourse, giving the substance 
of what the people said to their 
champions — in outline: Dei patrii 
intuentur vestra arma. Intueri has 
four subjects: (1) deos patrios; (2) 
patriam ac parentes; (3) quidquid 
civium domi [sit] (omnts civls qui domi 
sint); and (4) quidquid [civium] in 
exercitu sit. 

17. pleni, i.e., their ears ringing with, 

19. utrimque, the Romans were on 
one side of the field and the Albans 
on the other, each army being seated 
in front of its tents. 

20. curae, anxiety. 

21. agebatur, was at stake. 

22. suspensi, tense, in, foTj over. 
minime, not at all. 

23. animo incenduntur, lit., they 
are mentally inflamed — i.e., they are 
excited over^ they are roused to a high 
pitch of excitement. Animo need not 
be translated, for it merely indicates 
that the verb is used metaphorically 
rather than literally. 

24. velut acies, as if each band of 
three (terni iuven^s) were a host in 

25. his, illis, Horatiis, Curiatiis. 

26. publicum, the conjunction is 
omitted for rhetorical effect (asynde- 
ton). English idiom requires hut. 
-que, English would be more likely to 

use or (Latin -ve). animo, dative. 
English uses the plural: their minds 
(or imaginations) . 

26-27. futura . . . quam, lit., the 
fate of their country {patriae fortuna), 
destined thereafter (deinde) to he such 
(ea) as (quam). English would ex- 
press this, not as a concrete image, 
but as a thought: the fact that the 
fate of their country would he su^h as. 

29. neutrd, to neither side. 

30. torpebat, they were "petrified" 
with apprehension. Livy always 
makes his tales vivid, but lacks his- 
torical perspective; would primitive 
men be horrified at a good fight? 

30-31. Consertis manibus (idiom), 
hegin fighting y lay on. 

31. tantum, only. 

33-34. Two of the three Romans 
were killed, and all three Albans 
wounded; only one Roman remained 

34. quortun, the two slain Romans, 
casum, fall, death. 

Zl. exanimes vice unius, breath- 
lessly hanging on the fate of the one. 

38. integer, unwounded. ut, 
though, imiversis, dative — i.e., the 
three others combined, sic, yet. 

39. feroXf formidable. 

39-40. segregaret pugnam eorum, 
divide their assault, scatter their forces. 

40. secuturos, [eos] secuturos [esse]. 
ut, as. 

41. adfecttmi, handicapped, cor- 
pus, strength, aliquanttmi spatii, a 
partitive genitive, some distance. 

42. videt, supply eos as the object. 
45. Curiatiis, the two lagging be- 
hind, iam, already. 

47. qualis . . . , qunlis [esse] solet 
[clamor], ex insperato faventium, 
having an unexpected chance to cheer. 
Ex insperato is an adverbial phrase. 

49. alter, the other — i.e., second of 
the two laggards and third of the 
Curiatii. et alterum, the second also 
(as well as the first) — i.e., second of 


Notes: Livy (Ab Urbe Condita) 

the triplets and first of the two lag- 

50. singuli, one on each side. 

51. Alterum, masculine accusative, 
Horatius, the object of dahat. 

51-52. intactum corpus, geminata 
victoria, subjects of dahat. 

52. ferocem, agrees with alterum. 
54. victus, i.e., morally beaten. 

56. manibus (from manes) y dative, 
fratrum, the two slain Horatii — 
whose death the surviving Horatius 
had now avenged, causae, dative. 

57. Romanus Albano, generic sin- 
gular. The plural might just as well 
be used. Male, poorly, barely. 
sustinenti, dative of reference, supply 

58. supemef from above. Horatius 
towered above his drooping foe. 
defigit, the subject is Horatius. 

59-60. eo . . . quo, so much . . . as. 
60. reSy situaticm. metum,;^Bglish 
would say disaster. 

62. alteri . . . alteri, nominative 
plural; the one side (the Romans) . . . 
the other (the Albans), dicionis . . . 
facti (idiom), lost their independence. 

63. Sepulchra exstant, these pre- 
historic tombs (still standing today, 
just as Livy described them) had be- 
come connected in popular belief with 
the story of the Horatii and Curiatii; 
in fact the story may have been origi- 
nated to account for the tombs and 
their peculiar location. 

63-65. Each champion was buried 
where he fell and a tomb erected over 
him on the spot. 

65. ut et, as also, even as. 

66. Mettio, dative, commander of 
the Alb an army (though apparently 
not king), ex, in accordance with. 

67. quid imperaret, what Tullus 
commanded Mettius to do. iuven- 
tutem, army. 

68. habeat, hold, se, the subject 
of usurum. 

69. exercitus, nominative plural. 

demos, to their homes — i.e., the 
Albans to Alba Longa, the Romans 
to Rome, abducti, supply sunt. 
Princeps, at the head of the line. 

70-72. cui sorer ebvia fuit, whom 
his sister met. 

72. tuneros (or humeros), with 
fratris. paludamente (from paluda- 
mentum), military cloak. 

73. qued ipsa confecerat, her own 
handiwork. When she saw her brother 
wearing this garment, she learned for 
the first time that her lover was dead. 

74. f ereci iuveni, this is equivalent 
to the genitive, animum, wrath. 

78. eblita, vocative, thou forgetful. 
vivi, supply /rairis. 

79. hestem (not inimicum), her 
country's foe. 

80. facinus, deed, meritum, his 
meritorious action — on the battlefield. 
obstabat, counterbalanced. 

81. raptus, supply est. 

82. tristis, with iudicii. ingrati ad 
vulgus, unpopular. 

83. secundum, a preposition. 

84. perduellienem, treason. 

85. carminis, text. This use of the 
word is an indication that early law 
codes were composed in some sort of 
rhythmic verse, probably to facilitate 

87-92. Let the duumviri pass judg- 
ment for treason; if {the defendant) 
appeal from the duumviri, his case 
shall be tried on appeal; if they (the 
duumviri) win, veil his head; hang him 
by a rope to a barren tree; flog him (to 
death) within or without the pomerium. 

92. pomerium, equivalent to the 
city walls. 

95. laqueus, halter. 

97. preveco, appeal. 

100. in filitun animadversurum 
fuisse, indirect discourse, stands for: 
Ego infilium animadversissem, I would 
have punished my son. 

101. egregia stirpe, three sons and 
one daughter. Only one son is left 

Notes: Livy (Ab Urbe Condita) 


now; if he is executed for his crime, 
the father will be childless. 

103. spolia, trophies were hung on 
a frame or cross planted in the ground. 

104. hunc-i-ne, him? 

105. modo, just now. 

106. furca, a wooden fork — like a 
wooden collar; this was part of the tor- 

107-108. quod spectaculum, a sight 

110. arbore infelici, ablative, 
(hang) from. But in the text of the 
law it is dative — i.e., hang to. 

111. modd, dummodoy provided. 

114. decora, from decus. 

115. ipsius, the young man's. 

116. animum, courage. 

117. virtutis, valor. 

118. piaculum, exudation, luere- 
tur, atoned for. 

120-121. quae . . . stmt, they be- 
came annual rituals, incumbent on 
the Horatian clan. 

121. tigillo, beam. 

122. sub iugiun, a symbolical 
abasement. Id, the beam. 

123. refectum, restored — when it 
wears out. 

125. quadrato, hewn. 

Supplementary Discussion of Livy's 
Historical Methods 

Both the defects and merits of 
Livy's methods are well illustrated by 
the story of Horatius' trial. Despite 
all its dramatic quality and local color, 
it is superficial and could hardly 
measure up to any modern standards 
save those of the historical romance. 
Actuallj'' there are two distinct stories 
confused here: in one Horatius was 
guilty of some act of treason, in the 
other he murdered his sister. 

PerduelUo can only mean treason. 
The ancient law which is quoted, with 
its penalty of a disgraceful death, ap- 
plies to traitors ; and the speech of the 
elder Horatius in defense of his son is 

a plea in extenuation of treason. 
Moreover there are plenty of analo- 
gous instances, both in legend and 
history, of patriots lapsing into trea- 
son and being subsequently acquitted. 

The murder of one's sister, how- 
ever, is not treason — least of all would 
it have been considered treason in 
primitive times, when not only family 
feuds were settled within the family, 
but also ' 'private" murder was not 
a "crime." The correct legal attitude 
toward Horatius' killing of his sister 
is expressed by their father, who says 
that if he himself did not regard her as 
justifiably slain (iure caesam), he 
would have punished his son. By 
virtue of patriarchal authority (patria 
potestas), the father might have his 
son put to death. Obviously these 
details have nothing to do with the 
trial for treason. 

Again, at the end of Livy's account, 
the expiatory sacrifices point to a 
ritualistic atonement for the stain of 
blood — to the removal of a taboo, 
rather than to moral responsibility for 
a criminal act. Moreover, mention 
of that curious Roman landmark 
known as the Sister's Beam, may 
possibly be a raison d'etre for the 
story of the sister's murder — just as 
that of the triplets' battle may have 
been invented to explain the famous 
Alban tombs. 

Of course Livy did not stupidly 
confuse two distinct stories— these 
had become confused in popular tradi- 
tion long before his day; but he did 
uncritically repeat the current version, 
and further accentuated its incon- 
sistencies by embellishing his tale 
with legal and archaeological details. 

[b] The Rape of Lucrece 

1. Temptata res est, tempfatum est, 
temptaverunt. Res hardly means more 
than it. primo impetu, by assault. 

2. parum, non. 


Notes: Livy (Ab Urbe Condita) 

2-3. coepti . . . , hostes premi coepti 

3. stativis, siege camp, ut fit, as 
generally happens, as is to be expected. 

4. commeatus, furloughs. 

5. regii iuvenes, king's sons, 

6. comissationibus, revels. 

7. apud, at the quarters of, in the 
tent of. Sex. Tarquinius, son of King 
Tarquin the Proud. 

8. CoUatinus Tarquinius, second 
cousin of Sex. Tarquin and member of 
a poor, but honest, branch of the 
Tarquin family. 

9. laudare, a narrative infinitive, 

12. sua, his wife, inest, supply 

13. nostrarum, of our wives. 

14. spectatissimum, the surest proof. 
15-16. omnes, supply inquiunt. 
17-18. primis . . . tenebris, as the 

shades of night were falling. 

18. Collatiam, where CoUatinus 
lived and whence he derived his name. 

19. ut regias nurus, like the King's 

20. aequalibus, friends. 

21. lanae, lit., wool — i.e., spinning. 
lucubrantes, working by lamplight, 
agrees with ancillas. 

22. laus, victory. 

23. Adveniens vir Tarquiniique, 
vir Tarquiniique advenientes. Like a 
good housewife, she welcomed her 
husband and his friends. 

24. invitat, entertains (in his home) . 

26. forma, her beauty, incitat, the 
object is him. 

27. ludo, escapade. 

35-36. pavida ex somno, startled 
out of her sleep. 

36. opem, help. prope, English 
would begin this clause with but. 

37-38. fateri, orare, miscere, ver- 
sare, these are narrative infinitives; 
fatetur, oral, miscet, versat. 

40. cum mortua, with her dead body. 

iugulatum servum nudiun, the object 
of positurum [esse], iugulatum, with 
his throat cut. 

41. sordido, low — because it was 
committed with a slave (cf. the atti- 
tude of French noblemen towards 
serfs and villains before the Revolu- 
tion), dicatur, the subject is she. 

42. terror e, threat. The threat of 
violence proved just as effective as 
actual violence would have (velut vi). 
vicisset, the subject is atrox libido 
(i.e., of Tarquin). 

44-45. nuntium eundem, the same 
messenger. He was to go to Rome 
(which he did), then on to Ardea. 

45. virum, her husband. 

47. Sp. Lucretius, father of Lu- 

49. Romam rediens, an important 
detail in the story. Since the mes- 
senger did not have to summon him 
all the way from Ardea, he was able to 
reach CoUatia at the same time as 
Lucretius, who was summoned from 

50. erat conventus, had been met. 

52. Satin salve, satis-ne salve [agis], 
are you all right? Naturally his first 
thought is that she had summoned 
him because of illness. Salve is an 
adverb, minima, a strong negative. 

53. salvi, partitive genitive, salutis, 

58. mihi sibique pestiferum, {des- 
tined to be) fatal to me and to himself. 
hinc, from (or of) me. 

60. animi, locative, at heart. 

60-61. avertendo . . . delicti, by 
removing (i.e., arguing away) the guilt 
from the victim {and placing it) on the 
doer of the crime. Such was the tenor 
of their consolatory words. 

61-62. consiliimi, intention. 

63. illi, him (Sex. Tarquin). 

64. libero, verb, deinde, Aerea/^er. 
impudica, unchaste woman. 

78-79. Brutumj qui iam inde ad 

Notes: Livy (Ab Urbe Condita) 


expugnandum regnum vocat (i.e., ex- 
'pugnationem regni postulat). 

81-82. concient . . . homines, they 
gather a crowd, (first) through curiosity, 
then through indignation. 

82. Pro se quisque, each hy himself, 
one after another. This refers to the 
four agitators: Lucretius, Collatinus, 
Valerius, and Brutus. 

83. Movet [eos], two subjects fol- 
low: maestitia and Brutus, cum, not 

83-84. castigator . . . , castigans 
lacrimas atque querelas. 

84-85. auctor arma capiendi, hor- 
tans ut arma caperent. 

86. iuvenum, from the crowd of 
listeners in the Forum. 

91. pavorem ac timiultum, panic. 

92. rursus, on the other hand. 
primores, the subject of anteire (he in 
command). This relieves the panic. 
vident, the subject is they (the Roman 

94. atrox res, the rape of Lucrece. 
96. tribunum Celermn, captain of 
skirmishers — a high military officer. 
98. habita, by Brutus. 

101. morte filiae, than the death of 
his daughter. English would put 
causa first: the cause of his daughter's 
death was worse than the death itself 
(i.e., she suffered a fate worse than 
death) . 

102. Addita [est], by the speaker. 
Addita has three subjects: superbia, 
miseriae, and labores. 

103-104. plebis . . . demersae, 
citizens conscripted for national de- 
fense were put to work by the tyrant 
Tarquin at excavating sewers and 
erecting public buildings and walls. 

105. lapi-cidas, from lapis and 
caedo. pro, in place of. 

105-106. Indigna memorata [est] 
caedis, the base murder was mentioned. 

106-107. invecta . . . filia, and how 
the daughter {of Servius Tullius) drove 
over her father's corpse in her accursed 

car. The wicked daughter of good 
old Servius Tullius was the wife of 
Tarquin the Proud. 

107. invocati, were invoked — by 

108. His atrocioribusque credo 
aliis, these and other deeds even more 
horrible, I presume. This is an abla- 
tive absolute with memoratis. 

108-109. quae . . . , quae praesens 
(immediate) rerum indignitas (in- 
dignation) subicit (suggests to the 
orator), quamquam scriptoribus (for 
historians) nequaquam (non) sunt 
facilia relatu. 

110-111. imperium abrogaret, de- 

112. Ipse, Brutus, 

113-114. ad . . . exercittmi, ad con- 
citandum exercitum adversus regem. 
Adversus is a preposition. 

115. Lucretio, dative. 

116. TuUia, the queen — a notori- 
ously wicked woman. 

117. exsecrantibus, cursing her. 
119. ctmi, when, re nova, revolvn 

tion, uprising. 

123. Tarquinio, dative. 

124. liberatorem, Brutus, castra, 
the army. 

125. liberi regis, the sons of the 
King. Duo, i.e., of the three sons. 

126. Caere, accusative, to Caere. 
in Etruscos, in Etruria. EngUsh uses 
"place where". 

127. Gabios, to Gabii. 

128. simultatium (from simuUas), 
feuds (not to be confused with simi- 
litas) . 

129. conciverat, when he was gov- 
ernor of Gabii, earlier in his father's 

130. Regnatimi [est], impersonal; 
there were kings — i.e., the monarchy 

133. ex commentariis, in accord- 
ance with the instructions (i.e., the 


Notes: Livy (Ab Urbe Condita) 


The Heroic Days of the Early 

[a] Annals of the Year Ah Urbe 
Condita 455 (299 B.C.) 

1. The Romans were besieging 
Nequinum. Ad, at. cum, when. 

3. muro, the town wall, specu, 
passage, tunnel. 

4. praesidium, i.e., of Romans. 

5. moenia, fortifications, se ac- 
cepturos, in direct discourse this 
would read nos accipiemus. 

6-7. altero . . . alter, one . . . the 

8. cuniculiun, lit., rabbit hole, sa- 
tis comperta re, accurate informa- 
tion having been obtained. 

9. transfuga duce, an ablative ab- 

13. appellata [est], note that Livy 
constantly omits the auxiliary verb. 

15. adversus indutias, contrary to 
(or in violation of) the truce. 

16. alia molientis, agrees with eos 
(the Etruscans); lit., attending to 
something else — i.e., off their guard. 

17. proposito, i.e., attacking the 

20. agitur, the {only) question is. 

22. sequique . . . iuberet, and the 
Etruscans bade the Gauls follow them. 
infitias eunt (idiom), infitiantur, {the 
Gauls) deny. 

22-23. belli inferendi, purpose. 

25. utique, surely. 

26. in partem accipiantur, be ad- 
mitted into partnership, receive a por- 
tion of. 

28. nee quicquam, but nothing. 
perfici, be decided, be agreed upon. 

29. non tarn quia . . . quam quia, 
not so much because . . . as because. 

30. quisque [populus], the subject 
of horrebat. efferatae, hardly differs 
from the simple adjective /erap. 

32. paratam, ac^mVec?, g^oi. Romae, 

34. Picenti, ablative of Picens 
(adjective), Picene. 

[b] Matters of Religion, in A.U.C. 
458 (296 B.C.) 

1. avernmcare, avert. 

3. publice, at public expense, tus, 
incense. Supplicatum, the supine of 
supplicare. iere (from eo), iverunt. 

4. insignem fecit, made memorable. 
English generally uses the passive: 
the supplication was made memorable 

5-6. certamen ortum, a quarrel 
which arose, in sacello . . . , in the 
Chapel of Patrician Chastity — which 
only patrician ladies were allowed to 
enter. A brawl among the ladies 
was like a fight in the D. A. R.! 
forum bovarium. Cattle Market. 

6. ad aedem, at the temple. 

8. matronae, this is the subject, 
patribus, patriciis, the patricians — i.e., 
she had married out of her class. 

9. sacris, from the ritual. 

10-14. cum, . . . , cum Virginia ex 
vero gloriaretur (boasted with truth): 
(1) se ingressam [esse]; (2) se non 

14. facto verba adauxit, lit., she 
augmented her words by a deed — i.e., 
she enhanced the effect of her words by 
her actions. 

15-16. quod satis esset loci, lit., 
what would be enough of space. The 
entire clause is the direct object of 

19-20. hortor, . . . sit, hortor ut sit 
[certamen] pudicitiae inter matronas 
[plebeias et patricias], sicut certamen 
virtutis tenet viros [plebeios et patricios]. 
quod . . . hoc, equivalent to ut .. . ita. 
The latter cannot be used because 
there are too many other wi-clauses. 

20-21. detis operam, strive. 

21-22. ut haec, , » , y ut haec ara 
[plebeia] sanctius, si quid potest, et a 
castioribus [matronis] coli dicatur 
quam ilia [patricia]. 

Notes: Livy (Ab Urbe Condita) 


22. coli dicatur, lit., he said to he 
•attended — ^i.e., famed for heing at- 
iended. et haec ara, this altar too. 

22-23. Eodem . . . quo, the same . . . 

27. faeneratoribus, usurers, diem 
dlxerunt, hrou^ht to trial, prosecuted. 
bonis multatis, goods having been 

27-28. ex eo, . . . est, from the 
(LTmmnt paid into the public treasury 

32. posuerunt, set up, placed. This 
has four objects: (1) a£nea limina (11. 
28-29), bronze lintels; (2) vasa . . . 
(1. 29), silver vessels for the three tables 
in the shrine of Jupiter; (3) lovem . . . 
(1. 30) , a statue of Jupiter in afour-horse 
chariot, on the roof; and (4) simvr- 
lacra (1. 31), images of Romulus and 
Remus at the Ruminal fig tree — where 
the twins had been set afloat. What 
is noteworthy is that the city was 
preserving and beautifying its public 
monuments, semitam, pavement. 

32-33. ad Martis, to the temple of 

34. multaticia pectmia, money from 

35. pecuariis damnatis, from con- 
demned "farmers of the public pas- 
tures." ludi facti, gamss were cele- 
brated, paterae, bowls. 


The Punic Wars 

[a] Preface 

1. In, lit., in the case of. praefari, 
in principio profiteri, to say by way of 
preface, quod, that which. 

2. simmiae, noun, renmi scrip- 
tores, historians, the subject of professi 
sunt. Similarly Thucydides devoted 
his entire history to the Peloponne- 
sian War because it was the most mo- 
mentous war the world had ever 

8-9. inter sese conserebant, they 
used against each other. 

10. propius periculum nearer (to) 
disaster — i.e., after the Battle of Can- 

12. victi, in the First Punic War. 
13-14. imperitatum esse victis, the 

losers had been tyrannized over. 

16. cum, when. 

17. sacrificaret, the subject is 
Hamilcar. admotum, a participle, 
heing lead to, agrees with Hannibalem 
(1. 14). 

18. adacttmi [esse], an infinitive. 
The subject is Hannibalem (1. 14). 

19. spiritus, genitive, pride. 

20. virum, Hamilcar. 

24. sub, immediately after. 

[b] Campaigns of the Year 
215 B.C. 

1. Proeliimi, the Battle of Nola (a 
town in Campania) — in which the 
Romans and faithful Nolans made a 
sortie and drove off the Carthaginian 

2. Marcellus, the Roman com- 

2-3. victis, fugatis, pulsis, the 
Carthaginians. These are datives 

3. a Cumis, from the town of 

4. eodem se duce, milite alio, he 
himself being in command (but) with a 
different army, omnis, Carthagin- 

5-6. marcere, . . . , because they 
had spent the winter in Capua. 
6. lustris, vices, debauchery. 
9. Reliquias, feeble remnant. 

13. Cimi, while. exprobrando, 
equivalent to the present participle: 
haec exprobrans hosti, thus reproaching 
the foe. 

15. arma signaque, Carthaginian. 

17-18. alium . . . alium, of one kind 
. . . of another kind — i.e., they had 

18-19. Legatum, lieutenant, the 


Notes: Livy (Ab Urbe Condita) 

object of toleratis (1. 20). Marcellus 
was really a propraetor. 

19. legionis, alae, with pugnam 
(the object of toleratis): an engage- 
ment with one legion and (one) 
auxiliary troop. 

19-20. certamine, effort, quos, 
{you) whom, binae acies, at Cannae. 

21. milite, army. 

24. Ferrum, your weapons. 

25. prodigi, i.e., what portent (or ill 
omen) is the cause of your cowardice? 

26. plures, plures, the former is 
the object of vincere; the latter is the 
subject of restatis (withstand). 

27-28. fortes lingua, gloriosi. 
29. campestrem, in contrast to 

34. Cum, when. 

35. animi, courage. 

36. favoris indicem, indicative of 
their support. 

40. plebis, of Nola. 

42. quattuor, supply elephanti. 

46. iram, resentment — towards Han- 

47. liberalioris, more remunerative. 
60. admodum, omnino. 

65. indidem, in the same place 

66-67. cum . . . militaret, before 
Capua went over to Hannibal. 

70. ubi, where, introduces an in- 
direct question (dependent on quae- 

71. de virtute ambigere, dispute 
about their prowess. 

72. victus, victor, if defeated, if 

74. percunctaretur, rogaret. 
76. provectus equo, riding. 

81. rem nobilitassent, had improved 
the occasion. 

82. ludificantes, feinting, jousting. 
86. comminus . . . manus, we shall 

come to grips. 

88. si*s, si vis, if you please — as in 
comedy, cantheritmi, the object of 

some transitive verb such as agam — 
i.e., Ditch my nag? No thank youl 

89. vox, saying. 

93. rem, an event, quam, how. 

93-94. communis existimatio, an 
open question. 

96-97. Claudius galloped right 
through the town — in at one gate 
and out again at the opposite. 

99. sementem facerent, do their 
sowing. Sementem comes from se- 

109-110. bellum, the First Mace- 
donian War. Philip, Hannibal's ally, 
was expected to send a fleet against 

114. stipendium, pay, wages. 

116. se, the Scipios. 

117. utique, surely, without fail. 
121. tuerentur, they (the Romans) 

were maintaining. 

124. vectigales, sources of revenue. 

125. tributo . . . suppeditari, (all) 
expenses were met from the property tax 
(levied on Roman citizens). 

125-126. turn . . . numerimi, more- 
over, the very number of those paying a 
property tax. 

127-128. qui . . . pauci, the few sur- 
vivors, stipendio, taxation. 

129. paste, calamity — i.e., impov- 
erishment, starvation. 

129-130. fide, opibus, on the confi- 
dence (of its citizens), on its public 
resources — a paradoxical, but force- 
ful, eipigram. 

130. Fulvio, dative of agent — i.e.» 
Fulvius must. 

132. [eos] qui . . . patrimonia, those 
who had enriched themselves by state 
contracts (the publicans, or "farmers 
of the revenues"). 

133. crevissent, waxed fat, grown 
rich, tempus commodarent, should 
allow time to — i.e., grant a loan for an 
indefinite term. 

134-135. conducerent praebenda 
quae . . . essent, contract for the fur- 
nishing of necessary supplies to the 

Notes: Livy (Ab Urbe Condita) 


army, ea lege, ut, on condition that. 

137. quo-que die, and on what day. 
137-138. vestimentum . . . prae- 

benda, ^or furnishing clothing {and) 
food to the army. 

138. quae-que alia, and whatever 

138-139. esset locaturus, he would 
let the contract. 

140-141. tres . . . undeviginti, it is 
not clear whether there were three 
companies of nineteen men each, or 
nineteen men altogether. 

141-142. quonim . . . fuere, lit., of 
whom there were two requests — i.e., hy 
whom two requests were made. Postu- 
lata is a noun. 

142. publico, public business, ser- 
vice to the state. 

143. quae . . . imposuissent, their 
cargoes, ab, English would say 
protected from, insured against. 

144. publico periculo, at the risk of 
the state. 

145. privata, as by J. P. Morgan 
and other bankers in the World War. 

148. magno animo, generously, 
summa fide, conscientiously. 

151. Iliturgi, indeclinable, here 

163. a Romanis, on the Roman 

164. plures . . . erant, more than 
their own number. 

168. Iliturgi, ablative. 

169. Intibili, accusative. 

170. ut quae, as being, maxime 
omnium, supremely, modifies avida. 

171. mod6, dummodo, provided. 

[c] Hannibal at the Gates of Rome, 
in 211 B.C. 

1. Having lost Capua, Hannibal 
crosses the Voltiu-nus River, on his 
way to Rome. 

9-15. Fulvius, Roman commander 

of Capua, hurries after Hannibal and 
starts for Rome by another route. 

12-13. reliquum . . . , reliquum iter 
expeditum erat {was facilitated) . 

14-15. memor iri, remembering that 
all were going. The passive iri is 
more general than se ire would be. 

15-16. Fregellanus nuntius, a mes- 
senger from Fregellae. 

16. diem . . . continuato, after 
twenty-four hours on the road. 

17. quam quod adlatum erat, than 
the acfu^d news. 

25. magistratibus praesto est, at- 
tends (or is at the service of) the 

29. Aefula, this was near Tibur. 

32. imperium, it was one of the 
corner stones of the republican consti- 
tution that a general in command of 
an army had no authority within the 
walls of Rome — thus civil was rated 
above military power. 

43. per Carinas Esquilias, by way 
of Carinae to the Esquiline. 

47. Placuit, it was decided that. 

60. transfugas, see p. 21, 1. 48. 

61. a.df about. 

64. clivo Publicio, down the Publi- 
cian Hill. 

69. y SigoSf scattered, sues, the Nu- 

70. aperiri, be cleared up. 
81-82. in casimi, for the issue. 
87-88. In religionem versa est, was 

interpreted as an omen. 

88. vox, a remark. 

89-90. modd . . . mod6, at one time 
(after the Battle of Cannae) . . . at 
another (now), mentem, fortunam, 
the will, the opportunity. 

92. milites . . . , this made Hannibal 
realize how determined the Romans 

95. venisse ( from veneo), was sold. 

96. adeo, so. This is correlative 
with the result clause ut . . . venire (11. 
98-100) . visum, seemed to him (Han- 


Notes: Vitruvius (De Architectura) 

97-98. eius soli inventum [esse] , . . 
emptorem, a substantive infinitive 
clause, defines Id (1. 96) : namely, that 
a buyer of that soil was found. 

100. venire (from veneo), to he 
offered for sale. His, by these con- 

106. acervi, with magni (1. 107); 
'piles, heaps, rudera, bits of brass — as 
symbolical, but worthless, payment 
for the loot they took. 

114. Forulos vicum, the village of 

[d] The Death of Hannibal, 
in 183 B.C. 

1. regem, of Bithynia. 

2-4. quern, . . . , who had been 
rendered suspect to the Romans by. (1) 
the reception of Hannibal, and (2) the 
waging of war against Eumenes (King 
of Pergamum and ally of Rome). 

6-8. patriae suae auctor fuisset, 
had incited his country. 

9. per se, of his own accord. 

10. a, immediately after. 

14. fidei, loyalty, dative, with /reiws. 

15. levitatem, fickle temper, un- 
trustworthiness. expertus erat, we 
are not told how. 

17. Ad, adversus. Ad . . . infesta, 
faced by hostility on every side. 

19-20. grave imperium, tyranny. 

24. occultissimi exitus, a descrip- 
tive genitive. 

29. senis, Hannibal was about 
sixty-eight years old. longum, too 
long, tedious. 

34. praedixerunt, warned. This 
was in 280 B.C., when the Romans 
scornfully refused a traitor's offer to 
poison Pyrrhus. 

35. qui auctor esset, expresses 
purpose, to incite. 

37. eo, Prusias. 

38. poculiun, the cup (of poison). 


Selections From Book VI- 
mestic Edifices 


On Do- 


2. Rhodensium, Rhodians — i.e. 
Rhodes, schemata, figures. 

8. victum, a fourth declension 
noun; living, support, praestaret, 

10. quid-nam, what (message). 

11-12. eiusmodi . . . quae, tales . . . 
qu£iles — viz., mental and spiritual 
qualities, liberis, for children (by 
their parents) . 

16-17. quae . . . sunt, essential 
things, the subject of gubernari. 

21. ut, for example. 

22-23. omnixom, of all (other) Greeks 
— in contrast to the Athenians. 

23. parentes, i.e., in their old age. 

24. non omnes nisi eos, only those 
(parents must be supported by their 
children) . 

25. ea, Fortuna. 

30. probantes, approving. 

31. et ea quae, and one which 
(architecture) . 

32. encyclio (Greek), a feminine ad- 
jective, agrees with disciplina; general, 
all-around (cf. encyclo-pedia) . 

34-35. philologis et philotechinis, 
literary and artistic. 

35. commentariorum scripturis, the 
composition of treatises. 

37. nuUas necessitates, English 
uses the singular, plus habendi, of 
the pursuit of gain (or profit). 

38. proprietatem divitiarum, the 
essence of riches. 

43. ex arte, from my profession. 
45. notities, prominence. 

48. disciplinae, study, profession. 
iactari, is vaunted. 

49. fabricae, carpentry. 

Notes: Vergil (Eclogues) 


50-51. litteraturae, reading, study. 

51-52. si sit committendiun, if one 
must entrust (the job). 

53. alienam [voluntatem], someone 
else's, summam, with pecuniae, 

55. uti, ut, for instance, sutrinam, 
shoemaking. fuUonicam, fulling — 
similar to our dyeing, ex ceteris, 
(any) of the others. 

67-58. corpus architecturae ratio- 
nesque, the subject of architecture and 
its principles. 

61. ratiocinationes . . . symmetri- 
arum, principles and proportions. 

Architecture and Climate 

2-3. inclinationibus mundi, cli- 

7. ab eo, . . . , a sole distal [tellus]. 

7-8. per medium temperatur, is 
tempered midway — i.e., enjoys tem- 
perate climate. 

8-10. uti . . . coUacata, as the 
position of the heavens in relation to the 
svjrface of the earth, because of the 
inclination of the zodiac circle and the 
course of the sun, is naturally associ- 
ated with different characteristics. 

11. caeli, climate. 

11-12. aedificiorum, with colloca- 

12. Sub septentrione, in the north. 

13. testudinata, roofed. 
17. aquilonem, northeast. 

17-18. Ita, . . . , i.e., one must 
overcome defects of climate. 

Room Exposure 

1-2. genera aedificiorum, different 
types of strux:tures. 

3. Hiberna triclinia, winter dining 
rooms. Occident em hiberntun, lit., 

the point where the sun sets in winter — 
i.e., southwest. 

5-6. calorem remittens, radiating 
(or reflecting) its heat. 

10. tinea, bookworm. 

13. ad orientem, supply spectare 

13-14. praetenta Itmiinibus, vnth a 
frontage of windows. 

14-15. adversus . . . Occident em, 
lit., the direct force of the sun proceeding 
to the west. Adversus is an adjective. 

16. ad septentrionem, supply spec- 
tare debent. ut, though. 

19-20. pinacothecae, picture gal- 
leries, plimiariorum textrina, em- 
broiderers' workrooms, pictorum offi- 
cinae, painters' studios. 



Eclogue I 

1. patulae fagi, spreading beech. 

2. musam, i.e., the art of poesy, 
meditaris avena, practice on the oat- 
straw (oaten pipe). 

5. formosam Amaryllida, these 
words are the refrain of his happy love 
song (an indication of peace and con- 
tentment), echoed by the woods about 
him. Of course his purpose is not 
really to teach the woods this refrain, 
that being merely a "conceit." 

6. deus, a god — i.e., Octavian (who 
later became the Emperor Augustus) . 

8. ovilibus, sheepfolds. 

9. errare, graze, pasture. This de- 
pends on permisit (1. 10). ipsum, me. 

10. calamo agresti, tenui avena 
(1. 2) — i.e, the shepherd's (or Pan's) 
pipe, permisit, i.e., created the op- 
portunity for. 

12. turbatur, impersonal, there is 
turmoil. Note that this remark 
serves no purpose save to suggest an 


Notes: Vergil (Eclogues) 

actual experience in Vergil's life — 
namely, the peasants' rude eviction by- 

13. protinus, Jorth, away, aeger, 
sick at heart. He is leaving his former 
home and taking with him what he 
can — namely, his flock of goats. 
hanc, supply capellam. 

14. namque, this belongs at the 
beginning of the line, explaining why 
he can scarcely drag this she-goat 
along. corylos, hazels. gemellos, 
tmn kids. 

15. silex, flint, co-nixa, having 
labored, equivalent to parta. 

16. malum, misfortune, the direct 
object of praedicere (of which nobis, 
equivalent to mihi, is the indirect ob- 
ject), mens, supply mea. 

17. quercus, oaks, an accusative 
plural feminine, the subject of 

18. da, tell. 

19. dictmt, call. 

20. huic nostrae, this needs no 
identification, it being simply the 
typical provincial town. 

21. ovium fetus, agfrios. depellere, 
drive — to market. 

22. catulos, puppies. 

23. noram, noveram. 

24. haec, supply urbs (Rome), 
inter, this governs alias urbes. caput 
extulit, rises. Here Rome is personi- 

25. vibuma, shrubs, cupressi, cy- 
presses are tall and slender like 

26. quae . . . , quae tanta causa 
fuit tibif 

27-35. None of the details men- 
tioned in these lines is applicable to 
Vergil's own life; they are simply in- 
vented to create local atmosphere and 
to suggest peasant psychology. Ti- 
tyrus is here represented as a former 
slave or serf, who had never been 
able to save enough to purchase free- 
dom until, in middle life, he left his 

wife Galatea — an extravagant hussy 
— for the faithful Amaryllis, with 
whom his affairs prospered. 

27. sera, though late, respexit, 
smiled on. inertem, supply me. 

28. This is a picturesque way of 
saying that he had reached middle 
age; with tondenti, supply mihi. 

33. multa, many a. victima, ani- 
mal to be sold for sacrifice, exiret^ 
went to market. 

34. pingtus e . . , e< pinguis caseus 
{cheese), ingratae, i.e., to the farmer 
— who works hard and gets but a 
small return for his labor. 

35. acre, money, mihi, mea. 
36-39. Not knowing that Tityrus 

had been away from home, Meliboeus 
now understands why Amaryllis was 
so sad and listless. 

36. quid, why. 

37. cui, for what purpose, whv. 
pendere, Amaryllis neglected to picK 
them; she was too worried to attend 
to her daily tasks. 

40. exire, escape from. Appar- 
ently it was too late for Tityrus, even 
with Amaryllis' help, to save enough 
to purchase his freedom; he must 
therefore appeal to some powerful 
patron — an tmlikely procedure in real 
life, for Roman philanthropists did 
not go around freeing other people's 
slaves! This inconsistency is ex- 
plained by the recurring shift from 
Tityrus' imaginary loves and woes to 
Vergil's own experiences, until in line 
45 the Emperor addresses his words 
not to a slave seeking manumission, 
but to evicted farmers. Such are the 
tortuous ways of pastoral allegory! 

41. praesentis, helpful. 

42. iuvenem, the deus mentioned 
in 11. 6-8. 

42-43. quotannis . . . , cui duodenos 
(Jbis senos) dies quotannis nostra altaria. 

45. This is a picturesque way of 
saying: Retain your farm, smnmit- 
tite, yoke. 

Notes: Vergil (Eclogues) 


46-58. This is a true and inspired 
picture of Italian country life. 

46. tua manebunt, will remain 

47. Et, supply sunt. 

47-48. quamvis . . . , a poor farm 
(consisting mostly of rocks and 
swamps), but home! 

48. obducat, covers, limoso iunco, 
with muddy rushes. 

49. temptabunt fetas, endanger the 
pregnant ewes. 

52. captabis, seek. 

53-56. Hinc . . . hinc, on one side . . . 
on the other. 

53-55. hinc vicino ah limite, saepes 
{quae semper Hyblaeis apibus depasta 
[est] florem salicti) saepe tihi suadebit 
levi susurro, inire somnum. 

53. Hinc vicino ab limite, the Eng- 
lish idiom demands the locative: on 
one side at the boundary line, saepes, 
a nominative singular feminine, hedge. 

54. Hyblaeis, Mt. Hybla is in the 
land of Theocritus, apibus . . . 
salicti, lit., is Jed on by the bees — as to 
the flower of the willow. Florem is 
accusative of specification. English 
would say: the hedge of blossoming 
willow is food for the bees. 

55. susurro, humming (of bees). 

56. frondator, pruner. 

57. cura, joy, love, palumbes, 
wood pigeons, supply cessabunt gemere 
(or some similar verb denoting the 
bird's note). 

58. gemere, moan, coo. turtur, 

59-63. Ante . . . quam, sooner . . . 
than — i.e., sooner will the immutable 
laws of nature change, than. 

59. Stags will fly. leves, light- 

60. freta, waters, nudes, high and 

62. Ararim, the Arar, or Sa6ne, 
River. Germania, Germanus. 

63. nostro labatur pectore, fade 
from my memory. 

64-65. alii . . . pars, alii . . . alii, in 
apposition with nos. sitientis Afros, 
thirsty (i.e., desert) Africa. 

65. rapidum cretae Oaxen, lit., the 
river Oaxes, a carrier of chalk. Ser- 
vius, the ancient commentator on 
Vergil, defines this phrase thus: hoc 
est lutulentum (murky), quod rapit 
cretam. But since the Oaxes is in the 
island of Crete (Creta), we may read 
Cretae (as a proper name) and trans- 
late: the rapid river of Crete. 

66. orbe, world. 

67-69. finis, culmen, aristas, these 
are all objects of videns. These three 
lines are awkward and difficult; they 
probably mean: Lo! shall I ever, a 
long time hereafter, marvel at seeing 
my native countryside, (and) the sod- 
covered roof of my humble cot, (and) 
afterwards a few ears of corn — my 

70. novalia, new lands — i.e., culti- 
vated fields. 

71. qu6, whither — i.e., to what a 

72. his, /or them (the soldiers). 

73. Insere, graft, vitis, accusa- 
tive, vines. 

76. dumosa nipe, a brush-covered 
cliff, pendere, goats are wonderful 
climbers; they seem to hang on rocky 
cliffs, like flies. 

77. me pascente, when I am pastur- 
ing you. 

78. cytisum, call it clover. 

80. fronde viridi, a rustic couch. 

81. pressi lactis, cheese. 

82. villarum, farmhouses, summa 
culmina, Enghsh woidd say chimneys. 
Perhaps these humble dwellings had 
merely a hole in the roof. 


Eclogue IV 

1. Sicelides, Sicilian — i.e., of Theo- 


Notes: Vergil (Eclogues) 

2. aihust&f orchards. myncsLef tam- 

4. Ultima aetas, the golden age. 
Ctimaei carminis, of the Sibylline 
books (or prophecy). 

5. magnus saeclortim ordo, the vast 
era of time — i.e., the sidereal year 
(reckoned, in Stoic teaching, any- 
where from twelve to fifteen thousand 
ordinary years). 

6. virgo, Justice. In Greek myth- 
ology she was the last of the gods to 
leave the earth at the end of the golden 
age. To uncritical minds of the 
Middle Ages this mention of Virgin 
and Child, and the dawn of a new era, 
was positive proof that Eclogue IV 
prophesied the coming of Christian- 
ity. As a matter of fact, however, the 
beliefs on which Vergil based his 
charming fantasy — and which he 
modified to suit his purpose — are 
Stoic. The Stoics taught that the uni- 
verse was periodically destroyed by 
fire and recreated — over and over 
again; and that in each reincarnation 
human history repeated itself. Vergil 
omits the fire, but professes to see 
(with the eye of hope) the dawn of a 
new poUtical and social era, which he 
envisages poetically as another golden 
age of perfect peace and innocence — a 
heaven on earth. As he fancies it, 
the change, will not be catastrophic, 
but orderly; and its completion wiU 
require a generation or two. Vergil 
and PolKo, his patron, may live to see 
its culmination; PoUio will then be a 
sage, and he himself a bard — a demi- 
god, like Orpheus of old. But the 
child, that Roman infant in whose 
honor the poem was written — whether 
Pollio's son or some other infant of 
promise — , will live to see the new age 
in all its glory. Both Vergil's pastoral 
form and commonplaces of descrip- 
tion are well suited to his vision of a 
returning golden age. 

8-10. Tu, Lucina, thou^ O goddess of 

8. quo, under whom, in whose life- 
time, ferrea [gens], here the iron age 
is the last and worst of the four (?) 
ages of man. 

10. tuus, your brother. 

11. decus, the subject. Te . . . te 
consule, this is repetition for empha- 

12. magni menses, the sidereal year 
may be divided into twelve "months," 
each comprising a thousand, or more> 
ordinary years. 

14. irrita, wiped out, disappearing. 
English would use a noun here: their 
disappearance will free. 

15. videbit, i.e., on earth. 

16. illis, by them. 

18. nuUo munuscula cultu, munus- 
cula in-culta. Hederas {ivy) and colo^ 
casia (beans) are in apposition; Eng- 
fish has no names for the plants bacar 
and acanthus. In the new golden age, 
as in the old, there will be no agricul- 
ture; man will not have to earn his 
bread by the sweat of his brow. 

23. cxmahnla. f cradle, fxmdentf urill 

26. simul, as soon as. 

29. sentibus, on briers. 

32. Thetim, the sea. Roman mor- 
alists always regarded conomerce as 
Mammon, the root of all evil. 

34. Tiphys, pilot of the Argo — in 
the story of Jason and the Golden 
Fleece. Vergil's vision is not very 
logical here; he seems to be reversing 
the usual course of fate — this is a 
sort of temporary silver age, preced- 
ing the return of the golden age. 

37. Hinc, then. 

38. marl, from the sea. vector, 

40. rastros, hoe. vinea, vineyard. 
falcem, sickle. 

42. mentiri, counterfeit. 

43-44. mutabit vellera .... will 

Notes: Vergil (Georgics) 


exchange {his present) fleece for crim- 
son and yellow {and other hues). 

45. sandyx, scarlet. 

46. fusis, spindles. 

48. Aggredere, imperative. 

49. suboles, vocative, incremen- 
tum, scion, vocative. 

50. convexo pondere mundum, lit., 
the universe with its arched weight — i.e., 
the mighty spherical universe, nutan- 
tem, swaying, trembling — with excite- 
inent. One of the Stoic tenets was 
that the universe is — to a certain ex- 
tent — ahve! 

52. Aspice ut, see how. 

54. spiritus et, et spiritus (genitive). 

56. Linus, a mj^hical Greek bard. 

57. Orphei, dative. 

58. Arcadia, an ablative absolute; 
all Arcadia, the Arcadians (Pan's 

61. decern, the nine months of 
pregnancy become ten — by the Ro- 
man habit of counting both ends of a 

63. cubili, marriage. 



The Blessings of a Fanner's Life 

1-2. fortunatos agricolas, an accu- 
sative of exclamation. 

1. norint, noverint, a perfect sub- 
junctive with present meaning, equiv- 
alent to intelligant. 

2. quibus, for whom, ipsa, with 
tellus (1. 3) . procul, preposition, with 

3. humOf from the ground, victum, 
a fourth declension noun, sustenance. 

4-16. Although they do not enjoy 
the mad whirl and luxuries of city life, 
yet are theirs the truer blessings! 
The allurements of city life are: (1) 
the palaces of the rich, thronged with 

hosts of retainers (11. 4-5) ; (2) the glit- 
ter of marble halls, cloth of gold, and 
gleaming bronze (11. 6-7); (3) attire 
of royal purple (1. 8); and (4) exotic 
viands (1. 9). 

4-11. Si . . . at . . . SLtfCtsi . . . tam£n 
. . . tamen. At is repeated for rhetor- 
ical efifect. 

4. non, i.e., for the farmers. These 
are things farmers never see and 
which they might be supposed to miss. 

4-5. alta superbis-foribus domus 
vomit totis aedibus {from its halls) 
ingentem undam mAine-salutantum. 
superbis foribus,an adjectival phrase, 
modifies domus, proud-portaled. 

5. mane salutantum, clients who 
pay respects to their patron at an 
early hour, vomit, the use of this 
word bespeaks satiric scorn. 

6. inhiant, gape at, the subject is 
they (the farmers), postis, columns. 
vaiioSf^variegated, inlaid. 

7. Ephyre-t-dq{us). 

8. neque alba lana . . . , nor {for 
them) is innocent wool purple-poisoned. 
By calling dye poison Vergil is merely 
expressing his moral indignation. 

9. liquid! usus olivi, a poetic cir- 
cumlocution for olive oil. Usus is a 
noun, in the nominative. 

10-14. quies . . . vita . . . otia . . . , 
these nouns are all rather loosely con- 
strued as subjects of non absunt [agri- 

10. nescia fallere, innocens fallendi 
— i.e., honesta. 

11. dives opum, the English idiom 
demands rich in, not rich of. otia, 
peace, latis fundis, latifundiis. This 
is loosely connected with otia — i.e., in 
(or on) their farms. 

12. tempe (Greek), plural, vales. 

13. nmgiius flowing. 

14. illic, in the country, lustra, 
haunts — suggesting the joys of hunt- 

15. exiguo, the frugal — i.e., frugal- 


Notes: Vergil (Georgics) 

16. sacra, rites, worship, detim, 
deorum. sancti patres, reverentia pa- 
trum. extrema, her last, with vestigia. 
The goddess Justice departed from 
the earth when the golden age came 
to an end; but this lasted longer in 
the country than in the cities! 

19. Pana (Greek), accusative. 
20-24. The farmer is not affected 

by: (1) political strife (11. 20-21); (2) 
foreign invasions (1. 22); nor (3) the 
rise and fall of dynasties (1. 23). In 
general modern historians agree with 
this conception of the stability of the 
peasant classes. 

20. populi fasces, the whim of the 
populace — in a democracy, purpura, 
noun — i.e., splendor. 

21. flexit, Latin often uses the per- 
fect tense for general statements, 
where English uses the present (cf . 
also doluit (1. 24), carpsit (1. 26), and 
vidit (1. 27)). 

22. Dacus, a collective singular, 
the Dacians. Histro, the Danube. 
coniurato, a transferred epithet. The 
conspiring Danube is meant to suggest 
the conspiring (or hostile) Dacians. 

24. doluit miserans, suffers in 
sympathy with, habenti, diviti. 

25-26. carpsit fructus (accusative 
plural), qy^s rami, quos rura tulere, 

27. tabularia, record offices — ^where 
such dangerous documents as deeds 
and wills are kept! 

28-37. The mad pursuits of the rest 
of mankind: (1) merchants (1. 28); 

(2) soldiers of fortune (11. 28-29); 

(3) courtiers (1. 29); (4) proud con- 
querors (11. 30-31); (5) misers (1. 32); 
(6) demagogues (1. 33) ; (7) actors (11. 
33-34); and (8) exiled murderers (11. 

30. petit excidiis, destines to de- 

31. gemma, e.g., from a crystal 
goblet, ostro, in purple. 

33. stupet, is agape — i.e., struck 
dumb with emotion. In Stoic ethics 

this is proof of weakness of character 
and lack of self-control (so also 
hiantem). plausus, noun, a nomina- 
tive singular. 

34. cuneos, the rows of seats in the 


Country Joys 

2. Hinc, supply est. labor, happy 

3. armenta, accusative, herds. 
meritos, deserving, beloved. 

4. Nee requies [est] quin exuberet 
annus, lit., there is no respite from the 
year's abounding — i.e., sine requie 
exuberat annus. 

5. mergite (from merges), sheaf. 

6. oneret, vincat, the subject of 
these verbs is annus, horrea vincat, 
bursts the barns. 

7. Sicyonia baca, the olive. Baca 
means berry, trapetus, mill. 

8. glans, acorns, redeunt, supply 

9. ponit, produdt. fetus, an accu- 
sative plural. 

10. apricis, sunny, coquitur, is 

11. nati (pu£ri) pendent circum 
oscula [patris]. 

14. inter se luctantur, butt each 

15. Ipse, the husbandman, dies, 
an accusative plural. 

16. cratera (Greek), an accusative 
singular, vn,ne bowl. 

17. pecoris magistris, for his herds- 

18. iaculi certamina, prizes for the 
javelin contest. He hangs these on a 
nearby tree. 

20-28. Tillers of the soil preserve 
the traditions of ancient Rome; their 
ways even suggest the golden age. 

Notes: Vergil (Georgics) 


22. rerum pulcherrima, famous for 
noble exploits. 

23. una, being one, unified, sibi, 
suaSj with arces — i.e., her seven hills. 

24. sceptmm, re^^n. Dictaei regis, 

24-25. ante impia quam, antequam 
impia. In the golden age earth 
yielded sufficient fruits for man's 
sustenance; he did not have to kill. 

26. hanc vitam, i.e., (in a general 
way) the simple agricultural (or 
pastoral) life. Saturn, Jupiter's 
father and predecessor, was King of 
the gods; and in the golden age the 
gods mingled freely on earth with men. 

27. audierant, the subject is men, 
classica, war trumpets. 

28. incudibus, on the anvils. 


Various Practical Precepts 

Here Vergil seems to have forgotten 
his enthusiasm and expressed some- 
thing of the farmer's traditional 
pessimism, against whom all the 
forces of nature combine: drought, 
flood, blight, and insect pests. 

2. tenuis cviiSiSj small details, piget 
[te]j it irks you. 

[a] On Making a Threshing Floor 

3-5. These are precisely the meth- 
ods followed today in making a dirt 
tennis court. 

3. cum primis, imprimis, first and 
foremost, aequanda [est], must be 

4. creta, clay. 

5. pulvere, drought. fatiscat, 

6. tum, mmeover. illudant, de- 
pends on ne (1. 5). pestes, the 
various pests that damage the surface 
of a threshing floor (unless packed 
very hard) are: (1) mice (11. 6-7); (2) 
moles (1. 8) ; (3) toads and miscellane- 

ous "varmints" (11. 9-10). The 
weevil and the ant are mentioned 
last (11. 10-11) as despoilers of the 
grain that is piled for threshing. 
8. oculis capti, blind. 

10. farris, genitive of far, spelt — 
the most conmion kind of wheat in 
early times. 

11. curculio, weevil, formica, ant. 
inope metuens senectae, fearing for a 
lean old age. They are therefore in- 

[b] Harvest Prognostication From the 
Blossoming of Wild Nut Trees 

12. Contemplator, verb, impera- 
tive, plurima silvis, abounding in the 

14. fetus, nominative, the wild 
fruit, frumenta, the farm harvest, 

15. tritura, a threshing. 

16. If the woodland trees run all to 

17. pinguis palea, fertile in straw! 
This is a paradox. 

[c] On the Chemical Treatment of 

Seeds Before Planting 

18. vidi multos serentis (sowers) 
medicare semina. 

19. nitro (from nitrum), soda. 
amurca, dregs of olive oil. 

20. siliquis, pods, a dative of pos- 
session — i.e., ut siliquae haberent 
grandiorem fetum (fruit) . 

21. properata maderent, lit., having 
been hastened, they were soaked. Eng- 
hsh would say: they were steamed and 
hastened, or they were hastened by 

23. vis, toil. 

24. maxima quaeque [semina], the 
object of legeret. 

25. mere, referri, narrative infini- 
tives; ruunt, referuntur. 


Notes: Vergil (Georgies) 

26. adverse flumine, against the 
current, lembum, skiff. 

28. alveus, the current, prono am- 
ni, downstream. 


1. Vere (from ver), noun. 

2-4. The spring showers impreg- 
nate the earth and nourish her off- 

3-4. omnis fetus, the object of alit. 

4. magnus, supply Aether, magno 
corpore, i.e., of mother earth. 

5. Avia, untrodden, wild. 

6. This is the mating season. 

7. auris, dative. 

8. sinus, the object of laxant. 
Superat omnibus, abounds in all 
created things. 

10. pampinus, the green shoot. 
12. gammas, buds. 
13-19. In the early days of the 
world there was perpetual spring. 
15. ver agebat, lived its spring. 
17. virum, virorum. 

19. immissae, supply sunt. 

20. hunc, the present — i.e., this 
latter age of the world. 

21. tanta quies, the season of 

21-22. frigusque caloremque inter, 
inter frigus et calorem. 

21. This line is hypermetric. 

22. exciperet, hold. 

Sheep and Goats 

1. Pales, goddess of herdsmen. 
sonandum, canendum [est mihi]. 

3. ovis, the subject of carpere. 
dum, until. 

4-5. duram, with humum. 

4. stipula, straw, filictmi (from 
filix), ferns. 

5. subter, under the sheep (and on 
the ground) . 

6. podagras, foot disease. 
8. sufficere (transitive), praebere, 

10. medium diem, the south, cum 
olim, at the time when. 

11. This is astronomical lore: when 
Aquarius (sign of the zodiac) sets and 
bedews the end of the year — i.e., in 
February. By this reckoning the 
year begins in March, at the time of 
the vernal equinox — whence the old 
names September, October, Novem- 
ber, December. January would then 
be the eleventh month and February 
the twelfth. 

12. cum, when, aestas, spring or 
early summer. 

13. utrumque gregem, both sheep 
and goats. 

14. Luciferi prime cum sidere, at 
the peep of dawn. Cum here means 
u>ith. frigida, cool — an advantage in 

15. mane, noun, supply est. ca- 
nent, from caneo. 

17. Inde, tum. quarta caeli hora, 

19. ad puteos, at wells. 

20. ilignis canalibus, troughs of 

22. sicubi, si-ubi, if anywhere, 

25. tenuis aquas, a little ivatcr. 

28. alcyonen (Greek), accusative, 
kingfisher, acalanthida (Greek), ac- 
cusative, ^ncA. 

The Marvelous Instincts of Bees 

This illustrates admirably the 
limitations of scientific knowledge in 
the ancient world. (See The History 
of the King Bee, by Charles D. Stew- 
art; in the Atlantic Monthly, 147 
(1931), p. 555 ff.) 

2. addidit, dedit. 

3. Solae, the bees alone (of all 
creatures). commimis, consortia. 

Notes: Horace (Epodes) 


these are exact synonyms. With 
hahcnt they mean ham in common. 
3-4. tecta iirbis, dwellings. 

4. agitant, pass, spend. 

5. patriam, urbem suam propriam. 

7. quaesita, noun. 

8-9. aliae . . . pars, some . . . others. 

8. victu, dative, foedere pacto, 
according to law. 

9. saepta, enclosures. 

10. lacrimam, jmcf . 

11. prima fundamenta, as founda- 
tions, in apposition with lacrimam and 

12. suspendimt, hang from (or 
attach to) these foundations, ceras, 
the waxen cells — of the honeycomb, 
spem gentis, in apposition with 
adultos fetus. 

15. quibus cecidit sorti, to whose 
lot has fallen. 

16. aquas, with caeli. 

18. ignavimi pecus, in apposition 
with fucos {the drones) . praesepibus, 

21. easdem, them (the bees), the 
object of admonuit (1. 23). 

22. ubi, when. Logically this 
should precede easdem (1. 21). 

24. eras, governed by circum, the 
edges (of the hive). 

27. Rege, king (instead of queen) 
bee. Of the reproduction of the bees 
the Romans knew nothing! mens, 
spirit, purpose. 

28. amisso, supply rege. rupere, 

29. diripuere, diripiunt. cratis, 
frames — i.e., combs, solvere, solvunt. 

30. Ille, rex. 

31. circimistant, protect. 

32-33. corpora obiectant, they rush 
to defend him. 

34-42. These lines contain an in- 
teresting bit of cosmic philosophy: 
all living creatures have immortal 
souls, or soul stuff; God permeates all 
things, and into Him all things return. 

34. quidam, certain philosophers — 

Stoics, of course. Quidam is the sub- 
ject of dixere. 

35-36. haustus aetherios, draughts 
of heavenly essence. 

36-42. ire . . . succedere, these in- 
finitives are in indirect discourse, de- 
pending on dixere. 

38. hinc, from God — who pene- 
trates all creation, but whose pure es- 
sence dwells in the remote starry 
sphere surrounding the universe. 

39. nascent em, at birth, arces- 
sere, draws, derives. 

40. hue, back to God (or the stars) . 
resoluta, when dissolved, when sepa- 
rated from the body, 

41. There is no death; death does 
not end all. 

42. sideris, a collective noun, the 
stars, succedere, ascend to. 




Country Joys 

Meter: iambic couplet — a six-foot 
alternating with a four-foot line. 
Most of the substitutions for pure 
iambs are spondees, and cause no dif- 
ficulty. But 11. 23, 39, 57, 61, and 62 
each contain one tribrach; 11. 33 and 
67 each begin with a dactyl; 1. 65 
begins with an anapaest; and 1. 35 
contains three trisyllabic feet: 

pavidumque lepor(em) et advenam 

W W ^ WW 

laqueo gruem 

(The final pyrrhic foot for an iamb is 
permitted by universal poetic license, 
which ignores quantity in the last 
syllable of a line in any meter.) 
1. Beatus, supply est. 


Notes: Horace (Epodes) 

2. prisca, ancient — i.e., in the gold- 
en age. 

3. patema, inherited. exercet, 

4. faenore, usury — i.e., financial 

5. miles, as a soldier, classico, 
trumpet, truci, ablative, fierce. 

6. Supply as a sailor. 

7. forum, the city and all its tur- 

8. limina, portals — to which the 
horde of dependents thronged. 

9. adulta propagine, i.e., a shoot 
that has taken root, vitium, from 

10. maritat, marries — i.e., entwines. 
populos, poplar trees. 

11. reducta, remote, mugientitmi, 
of lowing (kine) . 

14. Grafts more fertile ones. 

15. mella, English would use the 
singular, amphoris, in jars. 

17. deconmi, decked with, pomis 

19. ut gaudet, how he rejoices! in- 
sitiva, grafted, pira, pears. 

20. et uvam certantem purpurae, the 
grape vying (in color) with purple — i.e., 
the purple of commerce, made from 
the famous shellfish of the Mediter- 
ranean Sea. 

21. miineretur, from muneror, 
21-22. Priapus and Silvanus were 

gods of the countryside. 

23. Libet, it is pleasant, ilice, call 
it oak. 

26. queruntur, sing their plaintive 

27. frondes lymphis obstrepimt, 
the leaves rustle (or whisper) to the 

29. annus, season. 
31-36. These are winter sports of 
the husbandman. 

31. trudit, he drives, multa cane, 
lit., with many a {female) dog. 

32. plagas, toils^ snares. 

33. amite, pole, rara, wide-meshed. 

34. turdus, thrush, dolos, as traps 

35. leporem, hare, advenam gru- 
em, migrant crane. 

36. captat, hunts, seeks, praemia, 

37-38. Quis non curarum malarum, 
quas amor habet, inter haec oblivisdtur. 

37. amor, passion — which is absent 
from a wholesome life in the open. 

39-60. This is a less vivid future 
condition. The four ^/-clauses run 
through 1. 48 {Quodsi mulier iuvet . . . 
exstruat . . . siccet . . . apparet) ; the two 
main clauses in the conclusion are: 
non iuverint (1. 49), and non descendat 
(1. 53). 

39. mulier, m/e. in partem, on /ler 

41. Sabina qualis, such as a Sabine 

42. pernicis (from pernix), nimble, 

43. exstruat, pile high. 

44. sub, against. 

45. claudens textis cratibus, en- 
closing with woven wicker fences. 

47. homa, adjective (/iomi*s-a-wm), 
this yearns, dolio, from a jar. 

49. Lucrina conchylia, Lucrine 
shellfish — the epicure's delight, iu- 
verint, please, a perfect subjunctive 
equivalent to the present. 

50. These are two kinds of fish; call 
them anything you like. 

51-52. if the winter, thundering over 
the eastern waves, should drive any to 
our sea. The rarity of these fish in 
western waters during the winter, 
caused them to be much more prized 
by epicures in that season. 

53. Afra avis, guinea hen. 

54. attagen, pheasant. 

55. iucimdior, any more delicious. 
lecta, picked. 

57-58. Lapathi, malvae, these are 
salads. They might be called cress 
and endive, respectively. 

57. gravi, sluggish. 

Notes: Horace (Epodes) 


59-60. The frugal peasant ate fresh 
meat only when necessary — e.g., 
when an animal had to be sacrificed to 
the gods, or was accidentally killed. 

59. fastis . . . , ai the feast of Termi- 
nus (protector of boundary stones). 

61. ut iuvat, how pleasant it is (cf. 
I. 19). pastas, from pasco. 

63. vomerem, from vomer. 

65. vemas, home-hred slaves — i.e., 
not bought, but the offspring of one's 
own slaves. This was the mark of an 
old-established household. 

65-66. positos circum, seated about. 

65. examen, broody in apposition 
with vernas. ditis, divitis. domus, 

67. locutus, supply est. faenera- 
tor, usurer (cf . 1. 4) . Alfius was a city 
man, born and bred. 

69. redegit pecuniam, called in his 
loans, converted into cash. 

70. ponere, invest them. 

To His Countrymen 

Meter: iambic couplet — a six-foot 
alternating with a four-foot line. 

This was probably written in 38 
B.C., when a renewal of civil war 

2. aptantur, are grasped threaten^ 

3-4. Panmme . . . , Num parum 
sanguinis super campis fusum est? 

5-10. Not to conquer Rome's for- 
eign enemies, but to commit suicide! 

9. secundum, preposition, governs 

12. nisi in dispar, except toward (an 
animal) of another kind. Civil strife 
is contrary to nature, feris, ad- 

13. rapit, urget, impellit [nos]. vis 
acrior, e.g.. Fate. Acrior is equiva- 
lent to fortior. 

19. ut, ever since. According to 
legend, civil strife began at the very 

founding of Rome — when Romulus 
slew Remus. 

20. sacer, accursed to, putting a 
curse on. 


To Neaera 

Meter: first Pythiambic couplet — a 
dactylic hexameter alternating with 
four-foot iambic. 

3. laesura, about to outrage — i.e., 
intending to perjure yourself. 

4. in verba mea, at my dictation. 
5-6. adhaerens artius atque, cling- 

ing tighter than, procera, tall. 

7-10. This is indirect discourse. 
As dictated by Horace, the terms of 
the vow are decidedly romantic and 

7. dum, so long as. This form of 
lover's vow is a familiar one, but the 
details are usually more common- 
place — e.g., till the sun shall rise and 
set no more, pecori . . . , pecori lupu^ 
[infestus esset]. 

9. aura agitaret capilhs Apollinis, 

11. o Neaera, multum (adverb) 
dolitura (destined to smart or suffer) 
med virtute (by my manliness or 
manly spirit). He refuses to be 
treated as a plaything by her. 

12. siquid viri, anything of the man 
(or manliness) . 

13. feret, endure, potiori, ht., one 
who is preferred — i.e., favored rival. 

14. parem, his counterpart, one 
who will meet him half way — a. true 

15. nee constantia [Fkicci], semel 
offensi, cedet formae, lit., nor will the 
resolution of Horace, once he has been 
offended, yield to thy beauty — i.e., your 
charms will not weaken my resolve. 

16. dolor, resentment, intrarit, 
supply him (Horace) as object. 

17-23. Et tu . . . , his unknown rival. 

17. quicumque . . . , more fully and 


Notes: Horace (Sermones) 

logically expressed, this phrase would 
read: quicumque es, quifelicior es. 

17-18. meo male, by my misfortune 

19. licebit (although) sis dives [mul- 
to] pecore et multa tellure. 

20. Pactolus, the river of golden 

21. Even though you have super- 
human wisdom, renati, reincarnated. 

22. Nirea, accusative. Nireuswas 
the handsomest of the Greeks who 
went to Troy. 




The Bore 

1. Via Sacra, the chief promenade 
of Rome — which passed through the 

2. nugarum, trifling mutter, totus, 
absorbed. The fact that Horace was 
in a brown study indicates that the ad- 
vances were made by the other man, 
who rushed at him (accurrit, 1. 4). 

4. arrepta manu, this is very de- 
monstrative. Add he said, dulcis- 
sime rerum, an effusive and familiar 
greeting. Res is used colloquially in 
various ways to address persons — as 
in the British term of endearment, 
old thing. 

5. ut nunc est, a colloquial idiom; 
as the times now are, considering the 
times. This is a cautious, noncom- 
mittal answer, cupio . . . , this is 
courteous, but formal. Horace would 
naturally expect his cold and formal 
reply to be a sufficient hint that he 
desired no further conversation. 
He therefore turns to go, but the 
fellow sticks by his side. 

6. occupo, I anticipate — ^i.e., / am 
the first (or / hurry) to say. ntimquid 
vis?, this phrase is a second, and 

even broader, hint that Horace wishes 
to be left alone — for as its frequent 
use at the end of scenes in Plautus and 
Terence indicated, it practically 
means goodbye. 

7. noris nos, the fellow again re- 
fuses to take the hint. On the con- 
trary, he insists upon engaging Hor- 
ace in conversation; and at once 
makes himself obnoxious by replying 
literally to a conventional phrase. 
Like the idiot who answers your 
Good morning, with No, it's a bad 
morning, so this fellow blithely ans- 
wers Horace's tart Anything else I can 
do for youf, with YeSj get acquainted 
with me! Noris {noveris) is the sub- 
junctive of command, docti sumus, 
/ am clever. Horace hated such 
people, pluris, genitive, worth more. 

8. hoc, for this reason, on this ac- 
count. This reply is sarcastic, and 
just contrary to what Horace really 
believed. Considering again that his 
sarcastic tone had ended the inter- 
view, Horace (maintaining frigid 
silence) tried every device to shake 
his companion — but in vain ! Misere, 
modifies quaerens, a colloquial exag- 
geration, like the English awfully. 

9-10. ire, consistere, dicere, m, 
constiti, dixi. These are historical, or 
narrative, infinitives — suggesting rap- 
id or agitated action. 

10. puero, my servant. By speak- 
ing confidentially and sotto voce to his 
servant, Horace tried to hint that he 
had private and confidential matters 
to attend to. 

10-11. ciun . . . talos, a witty exag- 
geration of his agony at finding him- 
self in such a fix. imos talos, English 
would say heels. 

11. te, an accusative of exclama- 
tion, cerebri, a genitive of cause; 
hot~headedness, spleen. Bolanus, evi- 
dently famous for his irascibility, but 
otherwise unknown. 

12. cum, while. 

Notes: Horace (Sermones) 


13. garriret, chattered. He was 
making conversation, as an excuse to 
stick by Horace's side, vices . . . 
laudaret, no more inane and trite 
subject of conversation for two 
Romans could be imagined. 

14-16. misere 

to avow one's 

own impoliteness defiantly is the final 
and most colossal breach of etiquette 
— against such callousness a gentle- 
man has no resource; retaliation is 

15. agis, accomplish. 

16. Nil . . . , Horace now craftily 
changes his tactics; he will see what 
he can accomplish by guile. Nil, non. 

17-18. quondam . . . , Horace makes 
up a beautiful lie — adding picturesque 
details as he thinks of them. 

18. cubat is, he's sick abed — per- 
haps with a contagious disease, oh joy! 

20. It is now a fight to the finish — a 
battle of wits, iniquae, stubborn. 

21. gravius, too heavy for. subiit, 
lit., he has got under. 

21-25. Incipit . . . , having won the 
first round, the social climber now 
gets down to business and enlarges on 
the subject first broached (1. 7) — viz., 
getting acquainted with Horace and 
his circle. He frankly recommends 
himself, but again — as when he 
claimed to be clever (doctus) — puts his 
foot in it, by mentioning nothing that 
is not a pet aversion of Horace's — 
namely: (1) quantity-production of 
verse — cf. Catullus: 

Sufifenus iste, Vare, quem probe 

homo est venustus et dicax et 
urbanus : 

idemque longe plurimos facit ver- 

(2) aesthetic (Horace would enjoy 
calling it pathetic) dancing; and (3) 
singing ! 

22. si bene me novi, this is delight- 
ful irony! He no doubt knew — and 

trusted — himself; the real trouble was 
that he had no inhibitions. 

22-23. Viscus, Varius, these were 
famous poets, and intimate friends of 

22. pluris, cf. 1. 7. 

25. ego canto [id] quod etiam 
Hermogenes invideat. 

26. interpellandi locus, opportun- 
ity of interrupting — i.e., the fellow 
paused for a moment, perhaps to get 
his breath. 

26-27. est tibi . . . , Horace slyly re- 
verts to the sick friend suffering from 
a contagious disease (1. 18). 

27. cognati, [sunt tibi] cognati? quis 
te salvo, i.e., who are dependent on you. 
Quis (i.e., quibus) is dative and te 
ablative. Haud . . . , Horace is foiled 

28. composui, buried. 

29. Confice, finish me, do your worst 
— said with mock-serious resignation. 

29-34. The supposed prophecy is of 
course fictitious, but makes delectable 
parody — even to her final advice to 
shun the loquacious (like that of 
Gypsy fortune tellers to look out for a 
dark man). 

30. puero, [mihi] puero. 

31-34. This is a parody on epic 

32. podagra, gout. 

33. quandocumque, adverb, olimj 
refers to the future. 

35. Ventimi erat [nobis], veneramus. 
ad [aedem] Vestae (colloquial), cf. 
English at (or to) St. Paul's. 

36. csLSVLf by chance. ya.da.tOt a legal 

37. perdere, a narrative infinitive, 

38. Si me amas, a conventional 
phrase, ades, imperative, in the 
technical legal sense: stand by me, be 
my ad-vocatus. Inteream (collo- 
quial), I'll be hanged. 

39-40. Horace hastily invents three 
reasons for refusing to go to court, 


Notes: Horace (Sermones) 

not noticing (or caring) that the last 
contradicts the first. 

39. valeo, am strong (or well) enough 
to. novi, verb, iura, law. 

41. te-ne, utrum te. rem, case — at 
law. sodes, please (as in Plautus). 
ille, supply dixit. 

42-43. Horace now humorously 
represents himself as being so cowed 
or hypnotized that he meekly /oZZou;s 
his tormentor. 

43. Maecenas, again the social 
climber comes to the main point (cf . 
1. 22) and asks: How is Maecenas with 
you? — i.e., What are his relations with 
you? He might just as well have 
asked: What are your relations with 

44. hinc repetit, he resumes at (lit., 
from) this point — i.e., after the inter- 
ruption (11. 36-41). Paucorum . . . , 
Horace scorns replying directly to so 
personal a question, but makes a 
general statement which he hopes will 
discourage his unwelcome Companion 
— viz., Maecenas is very exclusive 
(paucorum hominum, a man of few 
friends) and level-headed (or not easily 
imposed upon) . 

45. dexterius, supply than he (Mae- 
cenas). This is the social climber's 
view of Maecenas — i.e., he has feath- 
ered his own nest well!; he then pro- 
poses a partnership between himself 
and Horace — to the latter's horror. 

46. posset . . . , qui posset ferre 
(play) secundas (second fiddle) . 

47. himc hominem (colloquial), me, 
yours truly — i.e., si velles me tradere 
(introduce). Dispeream, inteream (1. 

48. summosses, suhmovisses, sup- 
plant, omnis, all the other friends 
and courtiers of Maecenas. The 
climber assumes it to be a matter of 
intrigue; Horace resents the implica- 
tion and replies indignantly. 

48-49. Non . . . ,nonistomodo,qux} 
iu rere. vivimus. Rere is from reor. 

49. hac, than this (Maecenas'). 

51. quia hie (so-and-so) ditior ant 
doctior est. 

54. Veils, the subjunctive of com- 
mand, equivalent to: you have only to 
wish it. quae [est], such is. 

65. expugnabis, a military meta- 
phor : you will capture the citadel, est 
qui, he (Maecenas) is the sort who — i.e., 
he is not cold-hearted, he is suscep- 
tible to friendship, eo, therefore. 

56. dero, the colloquial pronuncia- 
tion for de-ero, I will not fail. 

57-60. In spite of all that Horace 
has said, the climber still believes he 
can gain his end by intrigue alone. 

59. Occurram, supply him as the 
object. Deducam, dance attendance. 

61. Fuscus Aristius, one of Hor- 
ace's intimate friends — and a wag. 

61-62. et . . . , ef qui pulchre nosset 
ilium (the social climber). Aristius 
therefore took in the situation at a 

63. respondet, i.e., when I ask him 
the same two questions. Horace and 
Aristius exchanged greetings. Vel- 
lere, pluck at him. English would say 
pluck his sleeve. 

64. pressare, nudge, lentissima, 
limp, intentionally unresponsive. Aris- 
tius enjoys Horace's discomfiture and 
pretends not to understand his hints. 

65. Male salsus, confoundedly wit- 

66. dissimulare, a narrative infini- 
tive, dissimulat. meum . . . , lit., hile 
burns my liver — the old physiological 
explanation of anger. 

67. Horace makes a last desperate 
attempt to draw Aristius aside, to ask 
that the latter invite him to his house 
— or some such expedient. 

67-68. secreto . . . , aiebas te velle 
loqui secreto (adverb). 

69. hodie, supply est. sabbata, 
this is a parody on the Jewish obser- 
vance of the Sabbath — familiar enough 

Notes: Horace (Sermones) 


to Horace from the many Jews in 
Rome. Of course Aristius was not a 
Jew; nor does the thirtieth mean any- 
thing specific — merely sounding more 
mystical and holy. 

70. Curtis oppedere, insult the cir- 

71. At mi, supply est religio. 

72. Hunc-i-ne, as in Plautus: 
hunc +the emphatic suffix -[c]i (or 
-ce) +the suffix -ne. This may indi- 
cate an exclamation as well as a 
question — i.e., Oh that this sun should 
have risen (or day should have been). 

73. nigramf unlucky, surrexe (col- 
loquial), surrexisse. improbus, the 
villain (Fuscus Aristius). 

74. sub cultro, a proverbial phrase, 
illi, the social climber. 

75. adversarius, his opponent in 
the lawsuit (1. 36 ff). quo, whither 
away? turpissime, because he has 
ignored a legal summons. The ad- 
versary is on the lookout for him. 

76. licet antestari, may I take you as 
witness? — the adversary addresses 

77. oppono auriculam, touching a 
witness on the lobe of the ear was a 
legal formality. Horace offers his 
own ear with alacrity! Rapit in ius, 
[Adversarius] rapit [ilium] in ius. 

78. Apollo, the patron saint of 


An Apology for Writing Satire 

1. Liberius, too frankly. 

2. hoc iuris, this bit of privilege. 

3. cum venia, with pardon — i.e., 
and you will pardon me. pater opti- 
mus, my father, best of men. 

4. notando (by censuring) vitiorum 
quxieque {omnia vitia) exemplis {by 
means of examples or object lessons) 
— ut fugerem {in order that I might 
escape thenn — i.e., the vices). 

5-6. parce . . . , uti {ut) viverem 
parce frugaliter atque contentus. 

6. eo quod, unth that which. 

7. Supply he would say. ut, utque, 
how, and how. 

7-8. Albi filius, Baius, these exam- 
ples of rascality are of couise un- 
known to history; probably their very 
names are fictitious. 

8. lenij fortune. 

9. perdere, squander. 

11-12. concessa . . . , cum possem 
uti concessa venere {lawful love) . 

12. deprensi, deprehensi, who was 

13. Sapiens, the theorizer (or philos- 
opher) . 

13-14. vitatu . . . , [quid sit] vitatu 
[melius] quidque {and what), vitatu, 
vitari. petitu, peti. 

14. reddet, tell. 

15. traditum . . . morem, the good 
old Roman morals, servare, supply 
possum (1. 17). 

18. nabis . . . , swim without cork 
(or a life preserver). 

21. obiciebat, he set before me — as 
an example. 

22-23. an ... , addubites an hoc in- 
honestum . . . sit necne, cum flagret. 

24-26. ut . . . sic, this is a compari- 

24. vicinum, next-door. Avidos ae- 
gros, diseased gluttons. 

25. sibi parcere, restrain them- 

27-28. ab . . . , ab illis [vitiis], quae- 
cumque perniciem ferunt — i.e., a vitiis 

28-29. quis ignoscas, pardonable. 
Quis (i.e., quibus) is dative. 

29. istinc, ab istis [vitiis]. 

31. propriimi, my own. 

32. porticus, where he indulged in a 
quiet stroll and meditation, desum 
mihi, do I fail myself, am I untrue to 

34. quidam, supply /aaf. illi, with 
simile (1. 38). 

37. illudo chartis, lit., / write on 


Notes: Horace (Sermones) 

my papers — i.e., / scribble down my 
thoughts. Hoc, the scribbling. 

37-38. mediocribus . . . , refers to 
11. 28-29. 

38-41. Horace pretends to forget 
his apologetic tone at the end, and 
concludes with a humorous threat. 

39. manus, band. 

40. plures, the poets outnumber 
the non-poets in Rome. 

40-41. veluti ludaei, whose prosely- 
tising amazed the Romans. 

41. hanc, nostram. 

The Sabine Farm 

1. votis, my desires, my dreams. 
modus, measure, plot. 

2-3. ubi foret hortus — et fons aqune 
iugis (adjective, perennial), vicinus 
tecto (to the house) — et paulum silvan 
super his (above, on the hillside). 

4. di melius, melius di. 

5. Maia nate, O son of Maia 
(Mercury) — god of gain, propria, 
my own. faxis, equivalent to facias. 

6-13. There are three successive if- 
clauses: (1) s^ . . . minorem (11. 6-7); 
(2) si . . . Hercule (11. 8-13); and (3) 
si... iuvat (1. 13) — all having the same 
conclusion: hac prece te oro (1. 13). 
The second and third are variations 
of the first, each saying the same 
thing in a different way. 

6. ratione, means, rem, property. 

8. veneror, oro, precor. horum, 
the following (prayers) — i.e., such as a 
wealthy and grasping landowner 
might utter: O si . . . agellum (11, 8-9) ; 
or as would befit a miser: O si. . . 
Hercule (11. 10-13). angulus, corner, 
bit of ground. 

9. accedat, would be added (to my 
property), denormat, breaks the line 
of, disfigures. 

10. quae, this is indefinite : O si quae 
forsf urnam argenti, buried treas- 

10-11. ut illi qui mercemiarius, ut 

illi mercennario qui, like the yokel who. 

11-12. invent© . . . mercatus aravit, 
here two subordinate participles and 
a main verb are used, where English 
would use three main verbs: found, 
bought, and farmed. 

12-13. amico Hercule, by the favor 
of Hercules — patron saint of treasure- 
trove, quod [mihi] adest, quod habeo. 
This third and shortest ^/-clause puts 
it all in a nutshell. 

14. domino, lit., for their master. 
cetera, this parallels pecus. 

15. ingenium, pingue ingenium 
would mesbTL fathead — precisely as in 
colloquial English, ut soles, if Mer- 
cury was already Horace's patron 
saint, it was as god of eloquence — not 
of gain! 

16. in montis et in arcem, to his 
Sabine farm. Arx has precisely the 
romantic connotation in Latin that 
castle has in English. 

17. quid prius, what sooner (or 
rather) (than this)? — i.e., the Sabine 
farm, about which he began to write 
in 1. 1. illustrem, verb, saturis, by 
(or in) my medleys, pedestri, com- 
pared with epic or lyric poetry, the 
style of the Sermones (as of comedy) 
was pedestrian. 

18-19. On his Sabine farm he is far 
from the maddening crowd, and safe 
from the pestilential atmosphere of 
the metropolis. 

18. plumbeus, leaden, sultry. 

19. Libitinae quaestus, a source of 
gain to Libitina — patron saint of 

20-39. This is a description of the 
restless life in the city, as contrasted 
with life on his Sabine farm. 

20-22. This is a parody on the 
opening words of an Homeric hymn. 
Horace invokes Janus, god of the 
morning — humorously implying that 
Janus is the patron saint of hustlers. 

20. audis, hear yourself called. 

Notes: Horace (Sennones) 


23. Romae, locative — and empha- 
tic, sponsorem, as a bondsman. 
rapis, you (Janus) hail me to court. 

23-24. Heia . . . urge, Janus — or 
the voice of conscience — speaks to 
Horace. Urge means hurry. 

24. prior, sooner {than you), ahead 
of {you), officio, dative. 

25-26. This is mock-heroic. 

26. interiore . . . trahit, forces the 
day in a narrower circle — a quasi- 
astronomical description of the short 
days of winter. 

27-28. Delayed by his legal busi- 
ness, Horace must hurry if he is to 
keep his other engagements: luctan- 
dum est [mihi] {I must elbow my way), 
dare certumque locuto {having spoken) . 
Locuto agrees with mi{hi)y and refers 
to what he said in court, quod mi 
obsit, the object of locuto. This is a 
humorous fling at legal procedure — as 
in our joke: Whatever you say will be 
used against you. 

28. facienda iniuria tardis, / must 
tread on the toes of the leisurely. 

29-31. One of the tardi makes a 
sarcastic remark to Horace. 

29. improbus urget, a spiteful fel- 
low snarls. 

30. precibus, imprecations, curses. 
These are not quoted, but left to the 
imagination (there are plenty of 
examples in Plautus and Terence). 
pulses, the present subjunctive, must 
you knock down? 

31. si, whenever, memori mente, 
punctiliously. The sarcastic implica- 
tion is that Horace is punctilious in 
his attentions to none but Maecenas. 

32. Hoc, the attendant notoriety — 
i.e., arising from his reputation of 
being intimate with Maecenas. This 
confession of human frailty on 
Horace's part is a bit of harmless 
vanity! simul, as soon as. 

32-33. atras Esquilias, to the black 
Esquiline. The palace of Maecenas 
was on the Esquiline Hill; to call it 

black (alluding to its former use as a 
burying ground) is something of a 

33. ventum est, one has come — i.e., 
/ have come. 

34. saliimt . . . , this is metaphori- 
cal — as though he were being assailed 
by a sw^arm of hornets. The quotations 
that follow are examples of the de- 
mands which are made upon him. 

34-35. Ante . . . eras, this is 
spoken by someone who brings 
Horace a message from Roscius. 

34. secimdam, supply horam. 

35. Roscius' actual words were: 
Mihi adsit Horatius; in reporting 
them, the messenger uses the ''epistol- 
ary" imperfect: Roscius orabat [ut tu\ 
sibi adesses. English generally uses 
the original tense to repeat a mes- 
sage. Puteal, this was a landmark 
and favorite rendezvous in the Forum, 
near the law courts. 

36. scribae, the clerks. Horace's 
ex-colleagues in the government 
treasury (see above, p. 48). Though 
he no longer attended regular meet- 
ings of the clerks' guild, Horace is 
here reminded to "come back" just 
once for important business. 

38. cura [ut], verb — i.e., use your 
influence with Maecenas. 

39. instat, insists — i.e., wonH take 
^^no^'' for an answer. 

40. iam fugerit, will soon have 

41. suorum, supply familiarium. 

42. diuntaxat ad hoc, though only 
to this extent, quem, as one whom. 
raeda, in his carriage. 

44. hoc genus, modifies nugas; 
huius generis, huiusmodi, tales, hora 
quota, what o'clock? Thraex Gallina, 
the Thracian Chicken. This was the 
popular name for some gladiator — a 
lightweight. Syro par, a match for 
Syrus (another gladiator). 

45. Maecenas is perhaps quoting a 
well-known line of verse, or at least is 


Notes: Horace (Sermones) 

speaking in the stilted style that de- 
notes jocularity, parum cautos, in- 
cautos. frigora, English uses the 

46. rimosa, leaky. 

48. noster [est], "yours truly" is — 
i.e., / am. 

48-49. Horace speaks of himself in 
the third person. 

48. und, supply cum Maecenate. 

49. omnes, supply aiunt. 

50. Frigidus, chilling — because it is 
bad news, per compita, by way of the 
street corners, from street to street (or 
group to group). 

52. decs propius contingis, you get 
nearer to the "gods" — i.e., the powers 
that be. 

53. de Dacis, the fear of a Dacian 
invasion of Italy was acute in 31 B.C. 
Nil equidem, Horace's answer. Ut, 
lit., how — i.e., stop your fooling! 

54. At ... , Horace replies again. 

55. si, supply audivi. Quid, oh 
well!, implies impatience — the ques- 
tioner tries another tack. 

55-56. This refers to the allotment 
of land to veterans contemplated by 
(Augustus) Caesar — is it to be on 
Sicilian (Triquetrd) or Italian soil? 

57. untun, this is emphatic: a 
unique example of. 

59. inter haec [mihi] misero (by 
poor me) perditur dies. 

62. ducere oblivia (figurative), 
quaff oblivion — like a draught of Lethe, 
sollicitae, in the city. 

63. Pythagorae cognata, Pythago- 
ras' kin. Like the Hindoos, the 
Pythagoreans believed in the trans- 
migration of souls; they would there- 
fore neither kill nor eat of any 
animal — it might be murder or can- 
nibalism! But unlike the Hindoos, 
the Pythagoreans included beans in 
their taboo — hence Horace's joke. 
Horace loved the plain, coarse fare of 
the country: beans and humble cab- 

bage (holus-culum) dressed {uncta) 
with salt pork. 

64. ponentur, will be served. 

65. deum, deorum — i.e., heavenly, 
perfect, quibus, on which (nights), or 
at which (banquets), meique, and my 

procacis, saucy, 
failing of old 

would be vescimur. 
bold — an attractive 
family servants. 

67. pasco . . . dapibus, lit., I feed my 
servants on tasted viands. Dishes 
were served the master first and then 
the servants — the good old-fashioned 
custom, which Horace mentions with 
pride. In the palaces of Roman plu- 
tocrats no such simple method could 
be followed; there were a hundred 
servants to one master — not to men- 
tion other differences! 

67-70. In the country Horace en- 
joys "liberty hall"; in Roman high 
life, on the other hand, etiquette pre- 
scribed excessive drinking on many 

67-68. Prout . . . , convivae, prout 
cuique libet, potant calices inaequalis 
(varying in size and strength). 

69. legibus, rules of etiquette, capit, 
has a capacity for. 

70. uvescit laetius (libentius), ma- 
vult uvescere, prefers to "wet one's 

71-72. non de . . . , not the gossip 
of the city — which is mercenary, 
mean, and trivial. 

72. nee . . . nec-ne, nor (the ques- 
tion) whether or not. Lepos, the 
stage name of a professional dancer. 

73. agitamus, discuss. 

74-76. These are fundamental 
questions concerning the philosophy 
of life. 

75. usus, expediency. 

77. Cervius, a rustic philosopher. 
Horace's version of his Aesopic fable. 
The Town Mouse and the Country 
Mouse, is a masterpiece in the mock- 

Notes: Horace (Sermones) 


heroic style, anilis, adjective, old 
wives' (tales). 

78. ex re, this is in attributive 
position, equivalent to an adjective 
modifying fabellas; appropriate. Arel- 
11, a typical miser. 

79. Olim, once upon a time. 

80. fertur, dicitur. 

80-81. paupere cave, in his humble 

82. asper . . . , hard and thrifty — 
like old Cato! These are typical 
rustic virtues. 

82-83. ut tamen . . . , [talis] ut 
tamen, hut the kind who. solveret 
artum animum, would relax his 
''closeness." Artus-a-um is an ad- 

83-84. neque invidit ciceris nee 
avenae, he was not stingy with chick- 
pea or oat straw. 

85. aridum, with acinum (berry) . 

85-86. semesa lardi frusta, half- 
eaten pieces of bacon. 

87. vincere, overcome, tangentis 
male, of one (his guest) barely touch- 
ing, singula, the object of tangentis. 

88. cum, while, pater domus, pa- 
terfamilias, the host (the country 
mouse), palea, straw. 

89. esset, from edo. ador lolium- 
que, according to the lexicon : spelt and 
darnel, call it chaff and weed seeds. 

91. ^a.iientem.y in hardship, dorso, 
on the (rocky) ridge. 

92. Vis tu praeponere, quin prae- 

93. comes, with me. 

93-94. terrestria . . . , these are 
Epicurean doctrines, phrased to in- 
clude mice as well as men! Lucre- 
tius would say: Vivunt homines (in- 
stead of terrestria, earthly creatures), 
sortiti animas mortalis (mortal — not 
immortal — souls) . 

95. magno, parvo, dative, quo- 
circa, therefore. 

97. quam, how, modifies the ad- 
jectival phrase aevi-brevis, short-lived. 

98. levis, English uses the adverb: 

lightly, rashly. 

99. aventes, cupientes. 

100. nocturni, English uses an ad- 
verbial phrase instead of the adjec- 
tive: by night. 

102-103. rubro . . . , ubi vestis 
(couch covers), rubro cocco tincta 
(dyed with the scarlet berry), canderet 
(blazed) . 

103. lectos, noun. 

104. fercula, trays, courses. 

105. canistris, baskets. 

107. veluti succinctus hospes, like a 
(professional) host with his skirts 
tucked up — i.e., a tavernkeeper. 

108. nee non, and. verniliter, in 
servile fashion. He has been cor- 
rupted by city life; an honest rustic 
would have more self-respect! 

111. agit, plays the part of. 

112. valvanim strepitus, banging of 

113-114. currere, trepidare, narra- 
tive infinitives; currunf, trepidant. 
conclave, room. 

114. Molossis, a famous breed of 
large hound. 

117. tenui ervo, ht., vetch (a le- 
gimie) — i.e., meager fare. 

On Toadying as a Fine Art 

1. narrata, ea quxie narrasti. pe- 
tenti, supply mihi. 

2. reSy fortune, property. 

3. doloso, a stock epithet of 
Ulysses' — but not used with such 
cynical significance in Homer. 

5. mentite, vocative of the parti- 
ciple mentitus, having lied, nulli, 
nemini. ut, how. 

6. te vate, a witty parody on the 
familiar phrase te duce. illic, domi. 

7. apotheca, storehouse. precis, 
the dative of agent, by the suitors (of 
Penelope) — for the theme of the 
Odyssey is Odysseus' Revenge. 


Notes: Horace (Sermones) 

8. genus, good hirthy aristocracy. 
re, money. These, of course, are the 
sentiments of Roman society in 
Horace's day — not of Greek society 
in Homer's, alga, than seaweed. 

9. missis ambagibus, omitting am- 
biguity, calling a spade a spade — in the 
frank mention of pennilessness {pau- 
peries) . 

10. Turdus . . . , a parody on the 
allegorical language of prophecy. 
The thrush (turdus) and the fruits 
(11. 12-13) stand for flattering gifts 
and attentions to the rich, given in 
the hope that they will be returned 

11. privum, as your own — implying 
that he hasn't much of this world's 
goods, devolet, let it fly. 

12. res, wealth. 

13. quoscumque honores, whatever 
fruits (or produce). 

14. dives gustet ante Larem, let the 
richmantaste before your household god. 
Household gods received the first 
fruits of a farm; the flatterer is ad- 
vised to make a god of the rich man. 

15. qui, the rich man. gente, cf. 
genus (1. 8). 

16-17. ne recuses, don't refuse. 

17. comes exterior, social etiquette 
required that the inferior walk on the 
outside, or street side, and protect the 
flank (tegere latus) of his superior. 

18. spurco Damae, a vile Dama — 
i.e., one whose name indicates that he 
is a nouveau riche of servile origin. 

19. melioribus, the better class (the 
aristocracy) — not my betters. 

20. Fortem animtmi, my brave soul, 
the object of iubebo. 

22. mam, rake up. aeris, coin. 

23-24. Dixi, Tiresias speaks impa- 
tiently, for Ulysses evidently did not 
understand his allegorical terras (11. 
11-14); he now uses plain language. 
captes testamenta, angle for legacies — 
i.e., be a will hunter (captator testa- 
mentorum). This was the most 

lucrative form of toadying in Horace's 

24. vafeif crafty. 

25. praeroso hamo, having gnawed 
the hook, having nibbled the bait. 

27. res, case, lawsuit, dim, at any 

28. uter, whichever of the two 
(contestants) . 

29. qui J one who would, meliorem, 
a more honest man. ilUus, the rich 

30. priorem, superior in, with /ama 
and causa. 

32. puta, for instance, say. moUes, 

34. ius anceps, the tricks of the law. 

36. cassa . . . , rob you of an empty 
nut — i.e., take a penny from you. 

38. pelliculam curare, care for his 
precious hide — i.e., take his ease. 
Pelliculam is the diminutive of pellis, 
cognitor, advocate, ipse, yourself, in 

39. seu . . . , another parody on the 
heroic language of prophecy. Cani- 
cula. Dog Star, findet, split — with 
the heat. 

40. infantis, dumb, tentus omaso, 
stuffed with tripe. 

41. Furius, a poet and a gourmand 
— whose verse Horace parodies. 

42. nonne vides . . . , this remark is 
made by one bystander in the court- 
room (aliquis) to another (stantem), 
where the flatterer is defending the 
interests of Dama. cubito tangens, 

43. aptus, devoted to. 

44. thynni, fish, cetaria, stock (of 

45. validus male, sickly. 
45-46. in re praeclara, in magnifi- 
cent circumstances. 

46. sublatus aletur, shall be taken 
up and reared. Sublatus refers to the 
ceremonial act of the father; if the 
child is puny or sickly at birth and the 

Notes: Horace (Sermones) 


father does not take it up (tollere), it is 

47. caelibis, an objective genitive, 
childless man. nudet te, unmask you, 
give you away, leniter, slyly, in- 

48. secundus, subsidiary. 

50. alea, gamble, chance. 

51. Qui . . . cumque, quicumque. 

52. removere, push, tabulas, the 
will — inscribed on wax tablets. 

53. limis rapias, catch a sidelong 
glance, see out of the tail of your eye. 

54. cera-t page — of wax. veUty says. 
versu, line, solus . . . , [utrum] solus 
[sis heres] an co-heres multis. 

55. Plenunque, very often, again 
and again. The case of Nasica and 
Coranus was an amusing anecdote in 
the Rome of Horace's day; it is put 
into the mouth of Tiresias, as an 
obscure and mysterious prophecy of 
the distant future. Nasica was a 
bankrupt will hunter, who used his 
daughter for bait by marrying her to 
the wealthy but lowbrow Coranus — a 
night watchman {quinquevir) who had 
blossomed forth as a financier (scriba). 
Coranus claimed to have made Nasica 
his heir, in proof of which he repeat- 
edly offered him the will to read, 
which Nasica always declined po- 
litely. But finally he did look at the 
will, only to find that Coranus had 
fooled him. recoctus, re-cooked, 
mude over. This is a humorous allu- 
sion to the magic arts of Medea, who 
rejuvenated Aeson, father of Jason, 
by boiling him in a pot. 

56. corvum, this alludes to the 
Aesopic fable of the fox and the crow. 
Hence any duped or deluded person 
may be called a gaping crow, for the 
fox got the crow's cheese and left the 
crow gaping. 

57. dabit risus, vnll furnish amuse- 
ment to, vnll be a laughingstock. 

59. Laertiade, son of Laertes (Ulys- 

61. velit sibi, means, ede, from 

62. Tempore quo . . . , a parody on 
the majestic language and occult 
phraseology of prophecy, iuvenis, 
Augustus — who conquered the Par- 

63. demisstun genus, a scion de- 

64. Corano, dative. 

65. metuentis, unwilling. 

66. gener, Coranus. socero, 

67. multtun negatas, supply tabun 
las, the long-refused tablets. 

69. plorare, woe. Here the infini- 
tive is used as a noun, suisque, with 

70. ad haec, furthermore, mulier 
. . . , an adventuress, a female flat- 

71. libertus, freedmen (former fa- 
vorite slaves) were often of shady 
character; their bad influence on 
some of the later emperors was no- 
torious, temper et, control — with sin- 
ister significance. 

72. ut, purpose. 

73. vincit longe prius, it is far 

74. Scribet, this is equivalent to a 
condition: suppose he write, ve-cors, 

75. Scortator, o Zec/ier. cavey don't 
let him — ^i.e., don't wait for him to. 

76. potior!, to your superior, to the 
grandee, trade, offer, lend. 

77. perduci, seduci. frugi, an in- 
declinable adjective, so honorable a 

78. The fidelity of Penelope to 
Ulysses and her refusal to remarry 
were proverbial; the cynical interpre- 
tation which Tiresias puts on Pene- 
lope's virtue is of course a satire on 
Roman vice. 

79. Venit, i.e., to Penelope, mag- 
nvim-donandi parca, a circumlocution 


Notes: Horace (Odes) 

for stingy, iuventus, a band of 
youths (the suitors) . 

80. It is true that the suitors were 
not anxious to have Penelope choose a 
husband from among their number as 
long as they could live on her estate, 
which they did forten years, culinae, 
kitchen — i.e., food. 

83. ut, just as. corio uncto, greasy 
hide — a substitute for the proverbial 

84. Me sene, when I was an old 
man on earth (cf. the familiar me 

85. ex testamentO) in accordance 
with her will, elata, carried to her 

88. institeraty the subject is he. 
viventi, supply her. 

90-91. ultra "non" "etiam," except 
for "yes" and "no." 

91. Davus . . . , play the part of 
Davus (the humble servant) in the 

92. obstipo, bowed. 

93. grassare, attack him. 

95. substringe, prick up. 

96. ohe iam, this is an exclamation 
of satiety. 

97. urge, keep at him. 

98. utTeniy windbag. 

99. levsLiitf free you — i.e., by dying. 

102. fort em, supply amicum in- 

103. sparge, used as a verb of say- 
ing, governs the preceding quotation, 
est, it is worth while. 

105. arbitrio, supply tuo. 

106. vicinia, the neighbors. 

109. gaudentem . . . , you gladly 
offer it at a nominal price. 

110. Thus Tiresias, having played 
his part in the comedy, "gets the 


Preliminary Extracts 

[a] Alcaic 
[i] The poet's prayer 

1-2. For what does the poet ask 
Apollo? dedicatum, just dedicated^ 
at the dedication. 

2. patera, saucer — a sacrificial ves- 

3. liquorem, wine, opimae, rich. 
3-8. The poet enumerates five 

things for which he will not pray (all 
in the accusative case, as objects of 
orat or poscit) : viz., segetes (cornlands), 
armenta, aurum, ebur, rura — in short, 
worldly wealth. 

7. Liris, cf. the h'nes from Long- 
fellow's Monte Cassino: The Ldris, 
nurse of rushes and of reeds; The river 
taciturn of classic song, 

9-16. This is a digression — the poet 
interrupts his prayer to philosophize. 
His thought is: / don't envy the rich. 

9-10. Premant . . . , Zef them (for all 
I care!) prune their vines with Calenian 
sickle — i.e., let them prune their 
Calenian vines. The epithet Calen- 
ian, key word of the entire sentence, 
is transferred. Cales, in Campania, 
was famous for its wine; actually the 
reference amounts to: Let those drink 
champagne, who are lucky enough to 
have it. 

10-12. dives . . . vina, et dives 
mercator exsiccet vina [ex] aureis 
culillis (goblets). 

12. Syra . . . , lit., exchanged for 
Syrian merchandise — i.e., very ex- 

13-15. dis . . . impime, this is sar- 
castic: he must be the darling of the 
gods, for he defies heaven and earth, 
thinking only of his gain. 

Notes: Horace (Odes) 


15-16. olivae . . . , humble peasant 
fare — typifies the simple life, malvae, 
a vegetable — e.g., spinach. 

17-20. The poet enumerates two 
things for which he will pray: viz., 
frui paratis and degere senectam. The 
infinitives jrui and degere depend on 
dones (grant). The word order is as 
follows: dones mihi, Latoe {son of Leto 
— i.e., Apollo) — et (both) valido (agrees 
with mihi) ac integra cum mente — frui 
paratis (my savings or store). 

20. nee cithara carentem, not de- 
prived of melody (i.e., verse or poetic 
inspiration) . 

[ii] A eulogy of M. Lollius 

I. fortes, heroes. 

1-6. Homer established the fame 
of Agamemnon; but as there was no 
one to do the same for those who 
preceded Agamemnon, they are for- 
gotten. It follows that the poet is the 
supreme arbiter of fame and immor- 
tality; accordingly Horace will confer 
the boon of immortality on Lollius! 

2-4. omnes illacrimabiles ignotique 
urgentur node {are held by the darkness 
-—of oblivion), quia carent. 

5. distat, is different from, iner- 
tiae, a dative of separation; sloth, 

6. celatai unheralded — by historian 
or poet. 

7. chartis, pages, sileri, supply 
patiar (1. 8) , to be passed over in silence 
(or ignored). 

8. labor es, the object of carper e 
(gnaWy corrode, destroy). 

10. obliviones, the subject of car- 

II. secundis, favorable, prosperous. 
12. dubiis, adversis. 

14. ducentjfs, a participle, agrees 
with pecuniae. 

15. consul, although the mind or 
spirit (animus) of Lollius has been 
eulogized (11. 10-14), the thought now 

shifts to the man himself. Who is the 
true consul? Is it the politician 
whom chance elevates to power for a 
year, or the citizen whose noble 
qualities as an incorruptible judge 
benefit the state for many genera- 

17. honestum, utili, the neuter ad- 
jectives are here used as abstract 

18. alto, lofty, noble, dona nocen- 
tium, bribes of the guilty. 

19. catervas, the hosts of evil. 

20. explicuit, displayed. 

21. non vocaveris, a future perfect 
indicative, possidentem multa, eum 
qui possidet multa (i.e., hominem divi- 

24. uti, supply callet (potest) (1. 25). 

[Hi] To Maecenas 

This ode turned out to be prophetic, 
for Horace survived Maecenas by only 
a few months. 

1. querelis, Maecenas was an inva- 
lid and rather pessimistic. 

2. dis, from deus. amicum, the 
neuter of the adjective; gratum^ 
agreeable, te, the subject of obire. 

4. decus coliunenque, vocative, in 
apposition with Maecenas, rerum, 
affairs, fortune. 

5-6. si maturior vis (mors) rapit te, 
partem (half) meae animae, quid (why) 
moror (linger or live on) altera [pars]. 
Pars is in apposition with ego (the 
subject of moror). 

7. aequo cams, equally dear to my- 
self — i.e., as before, superstes, this 
is conditional: if surviving you. 

7-8. nee integer, because he will 
have lost his "better half." 

8. dies, i.e., of your death, utram- 
que, of both of us. 

11. utcumque, whenever. 

12. carpere, depends on parati, 
comites, together, as comrades. 


Notes: Horace (Odes) 

[iv] Jilted 

1. nuper, till recently. 

2. In the lists of love, or on love's 

3-8. arma . . . , the implements of 
the lover — e.g., his lute {harbiton) and 
torches {funalia), for serenading 
parties; and his crowbars (vedis) and 
jimmies {arcus), for breaking into his 
lady's bower. These discarded im- 
plements will now all be hung up on 
the wall in the temple of Venus, as 
votive offerings. 

3. defunctum, agrees with harbiton. 

5. laevum, for some reason the left- 
hand wall was probably regarded as 
luckier than the right. 

6. ponite, this is said as if it were 
addressed to his servants or atten- 

9-11. diva regina, Venus. 

12. The poet prays for revenge on 
the haughty Chloe, who had jilted 
him and caused his retirement from 
the field of love: Just one lash of your 
whip, Venus! 

[h] Sapphic 
[i] Simple pleasures 

1. puer, the poet is speaking to his 
servant — also called ministrum (1. 6). 
Persicos, the Persians were tradi- 
tionally given to luxury and pomp 

2. philyra, bark, paper — used in 
weaving artificial garlands, as tinsel 
and wire are today. 

3. mitte, omitte, don't, sectari, 
qvxierere. quo locorum, whereabout, 
where (cf. ubi gentium). 

3-4. rosa sera, the late rose is un- 
seasonable — its use is therefore af- 
fected and artificial. 

5-6. euro (7 desire) ut nihil ad- 
labor es simplici myrto. 

6. SQ6.u\viSy overanxious, fussy . This 
refers to the servant, not to the 

master; it is equivalent to quamvis 
sedulus sis (concessive). 

[ii] The dedication of a pine tree 
to Diana 

1-4. custos, Virgo, Diva, all refer to 

2. laborantis titero, puerperas, in 

3. adimis, take away, save from. 

5. villae, on his Sabine farm, tua 
esto, be thine, be dedicated to thee. 

6-8. quam donem, ut earn donem. 

6. exactos, passing. 

7. veiris (homverres), boar, medi- 
tantis, practising, agrees with verris. 

[Hi] A lover's prayer to Venus 

1. Cnidus, Paphos, cities of Caria 
and Cyprus respectively — favorite 
abodes of Venus. 

2. speme, leave. Cjrpron (Greek), 
Cyprum. vocantis, invoking, agrees 
with Glycerae. 

3-4. Glycerae . . . , transfer [te] in 
decoram aedem Glycerae. 

5-8. Let thy full retinue come with 
thee — viz., Cupid (thy puer), the 
Graces, the Nymphs, Youth (or 
Hebe), and Mercury (god of persua- 
sion — therefore patron saint of woo- 
ers). Properent (or properet) is 
imderstood with each of these groups 
or individuals. 

7. parum, this is equivalent to a 
negative prefix with the adjective 
comis (not to be confused with the 
noun comes). 

[iv] To a faded beauty 

1. Parcius, minus saepe. iunctas, 
closed (and locked). 

3-4. amat ianua limen, this is a 
picturesque and witty way of saying 
the door remains shut. 

5. prius, formerly, multum, very, 
modifies facilis. facilis, adjective. 
English would use the adverb here. 

Notes: Horace (Odes) 


7-8. This is a strain from a sere- 
nade — perhaps the two most beautiful 
lyric lines that Horace ever wrote. 

7. me pereunte, an ablative abso- 
lute, tuo, thy lover, in apposition 
with me. 

[v] The poet sings of gods and heroes 

1. Parentis, Jupiter, prius, sooner, 
rather than, solitis, usual — because 
it was proper to mention Jupiter 

3-4. variis horis, modifies mundum 
(not temperat): the universe with its 
changing seasons. 

5. ipso, than himself. 

6. viget, vivit. secundum, Ju- 
piter is so great and powerful that 
nothing in the universe can be called 
even second to him; he is beyond all 

7. Proximos, nearest — but not sec- 
ond! illi, Jovi. 

8. Pallas, Athena or Minerva. 

10. Liber, Bacchus. Virgo, Diana 
— the huntress, goddess of the chase. 

12. Phoebe, Phoebus Apollo. 

13. Alcides, Hercules. 

13-15. The sons of Led a were Cas- 
tor, the horseman, and Pollux, the 
pugilist. Upon their death and deifi- 
cation these became the patron saints 
of sailors — i.e., they were the constel- 
lation Gemini, or the Twins. 

14-15. superare nobilem, lit., fa- 
mous to win — i.e., famous for winning 
(athletic victories). 

14. pugnis, from pugnus. 

15. simul, simul ac, as soon as. 

16. Stella, constellation (i.e., Ge- 

17. (h)umor, water, ocean, saxis, 
governed Vjy de- (in defluit). 

19. voluere, the subject is they 
(Castor and Pollux). 

[vi] In praise of Hypermnestra 

According to an ancient Greek 
legend, the fifty daughters of King 
Ddnaus were betrothed against their 
will to the fifty sons of King Aegyp- 
tus. Following the instructions of 
their treacherous father (periurum 
parentem, cf. 1. 2), forty-nine assassi- 
nated their husbands on their wedding 
night. The fiftieth, Hypermnestra, 
fell in love with her bridegroom and 
spared him; she is therefore praised as 
the true type of womanhood, to whom 
love is the greatest thing in the world. 

1. Una, Hypermnestra. multis, 
the fifty sisters. 

2. in parentem, toward her parent 

3. mendax, she lied to her father 
when she promised to assassinate her 
husband. This was a glorious lie, be- 
cause she followed her better instincts 
and because her treacherous father 
deserved to be deceived. 

3-4. in omne aevum, in perpetuum. 

7. Socenmi, Danaus. 

8. sorores, his forty-nine new 
sisters-in-law. falle, escape from. 

9. velut leaenae {lionesses) vitulos 

14. viro, my bridegroom. 

13-16. oneret . . . releget, this is 
either hortatory or concessive. Rele- 
get means banish. 

17. pedes . . . aurae, by land or by 

18. secvmdOf favorable. 

19. nostri, mei, of me. 

20. scalpe, carve. 

[vii] Farewell to a former sweetheart 

1. Sis licet (colloquial), this is a 
form of blessing. Licet need not be 
translated, mavis, supply esse or 

2. vivas, sis. 

3-4. laevus pious, comix, wood- 


Notes: Horace (Odes) 

peckers and crows were bad omens for 
the traveler. 

5. Europe (Greek), Europa. 

6. scatentem, full of. 

7-8. pontxim palluit audax, though 
bold, she was afraid of the sea. 

7. medias fraudes, dangers she was 
in the midst of. 

9-12. Nuper studuerat floribus et 
fecerat coronas, nunc nil praeter astra 
et undas vidit. 

13. Quae simul, as soon as she. 

14. Creten, the island of Crete. In 
the days of Homer, it was "powerful 
with its hundred cities." 

14-16. pater, nomen, pietas, here 
the nominative case is used in excla- 
mation. The accusative would also 
be correct. 

14. relictum, forfeited. She has 
virtually run away from home — be- 
cause of her folly. 

15. pietas, filial devotion, dixit, 

17. Unde . . . , Unde veni — et quo 
CO? Levis . . . , a single death is too 
trivial a punishment. 

19. commissum, peccatum. an ... , 
an [me] vitiis carentem. 

20, imago, imagination, hallucina- 

21-24. The bull (Jupiter) who 
carried her across the sea had disap- 
peared; if only she could lay hands on 
him now, she would tear him to 

23. modd, just now, recently, mul- 
tum amati, amatissimi. 

[c] "First" Asclepiad6an 
To Censorinus 

1-2. [ Ego] , commodus, donarem meis 
sodalibus pateras et [alia] aera grata 
(works of art — such as bronze bowls 
and other vessels). 

1. commodus, generously. 

5. ferres, get. divite . . . , that is 

(scilicet), if I were endowed with those 

6. Parrhasius, a famous Greek 
painter. Scopas, a famous Greek 

7. hie, the latter (Scopas). 

8. ponere, portray. 

9-10. Sed non [est] . , , , sed ego non 
habeo hanc vim {ability), tu non habes 
rem (an estate) aut animum, egentem 
talium deliciarum (luxuries). What- 
ever it may have been, the estate (res) 
of Censorinus did not consist of 
palaces and villas where works of art 
might be displayed. Moreover the 
Romans never regarded the plastic 
arts as being on a plane with poetry. 

12. pretium dicere mtmeri, place 
its (true) value on the gift — i.e., he will 
present the kind of poetry that counts 
— that which immortalizes the donee. 

13-18. Not marble monuments, but 
Ennius' poetry ensured the fame of 
Scipio Af ricanus : marmora incisa non 
indicant laudes Africani clarius quam 
Calabrae Pierides (the Calabrian 
Muses — Ennius was a Calabrian). 

13. notis, letters, inscriptions. 
16-17. nomen lucratus, having won 

his cognomen (Af ricanus) . domita ab 
Africa, this phrase goes both with 
lucratus nomen and with rediit; 
Scipio both won his cognomen and 
returned home /rom conquered Africa. 
19-20. feceris, tuleris, the indefi- 
nite second person. 

19. cha.rta.ej the written page, quod 
bene feceris, the object of sileant; 
facta, res gestas. 

20. mercedem tuleris, will you get 
your reward (of fame). Quid, what? 
The answer is: He would be nothing. 
Or we might ask: Where would he be?, 
and answer: Nowhere/ 

21. puer, son (Romulus), tacitur- 
nitas, oblivion. 

23. Aeacum, in Greek mythology 
Aeacus, once King of Aegina, was dei- 
fied after death and became judge of 

Notes: Horace (Odes) 


the souls of the dead. Stygiis 
fluctibus, /rom Hades {or death). 

25. vatum, all the famous Greek 
poets, divitibus consecrat insulis, 

immortalizes in the Islands of the 

[d] "Second" Asclepiadean 
[i] To celebrate a friend's return 

I. iuvat, it is pleasant, fidibus, 
sacred music. 

3. custodes decs, patron saints. 

5. multa, supply oscula. 

6. nuUi, nemini. 

8. non alio rege, under the same 
leader — in games, puertiae, pueri- 

9. The reference is to coming of age. 

10. Cressa, of chalky white — the 
symbol of happiness. 

II. moduSf stint. 

12. morem in Salium, dancing. 

[ii] Must I fall in love again at fifty? 

1-2. rursus moves (start) hella diu 

4. Cinarae, the sweetheart of his 

6. flectere, sway, supply ?ne. circa 
lustra decem, about fifty years old. 

7. imperils, the dative with durum 
(agreeing with me). 

[e] "Third" Asclepiadean 
[i] To Augustus 

1. Divis bonis, Divis faventihus, 
bonis auspiciis. Romulae, equiva- 
lent to Romanae. 

2. custos, vocative, Augustus. 

3. reditum, noun. 

3-4. patrum concilio, the Roman 

6. veris, from ver. 

6-7. Instar . . . , ubi (when) vultus 
tuus, instar veris, adfulsit. 

[ii] A prophecy of woe 

1. Pastor, in his youth, Paris had 
been a shepherd on Mt. Ida. per 
freta, over the sea. 

2. Idaeis, his ships were made of 
timber from Mt. Ida. Helenen 
(Greek), Helenam. hospitam, Helen 
had been Paris' hostess at Sparta, 
when he persuaded her to elope with 

3. ingrato, i.e., to Paris — who was 
anxious to reach home as quickly as 
possible, otio, calm. Nereus thus 
easily halted the ships. 

4. caneret, i.e., prophesy, fera, 

5. ducis, verb, supply her . . . whom 
as the object, avi, bird, omen. 

6. Graecia, the Greeks, multo mi- 
lite, magno exercitu. 

7. coniurata, agrees with Graeciay 
used as a past active participle, tuas 
nuptias, i.e., with Helen. 

10. moves, you cause. 

11-12. Pallas Athena (or Minerva), 
defender of the Greeks, is preparing 
for war. 

11. aegida (Greek), accusative. 
The aegis was a magic garment. 

13. diem proferet, will postpone the 
fated day — and thus make it worse! 

14. matronis Phrygum, matronis 
Troianis. Achillei, of Achvlles. 

15. certas, a fated number of — but 
Nereus will not tell Paris how many I 

[Hi] On the death of Quintilius 

1. Quis, an interrogative adjec- 
tive, with pudor and modus. The 
form of the interrogative adjective is 
usually qui. 

1-2. Qui pudor aut qui modus 
(limit) sit nostra desiderio tam cari 
capitis (hominis)? 

2. Praecipe, supply mihi. 

3. cantus, noim, the accusative 
plural. Melpomene, one of the 


Notes: Horace (Odes) 

Muses, pater, Jupiter was the father 
of all the Muses. 

5. Ergo, and so. perpetuus sopor, 

6-8. Cui parem, an equal to him. 

9. Multis bonis [hominibus], dative, 
with flebilis. 

11-12. poscis Quintilium deos, ask 
the gods for Quintilius, demand Quin- 
tilius back, non ita creditum [deis]^ 
perhaps in his prayers Vergil had 
commended Quintilius to the gods — 
and the gods had taken him too 

13-14. Quid si modereris {play) 
fidem (the lyre) blandius Orpheo. 

13. Threicio, Thrado. 

14. auditam arboribus, heeded by 
the trees. According to the legend, 
Orpheus made the trees dance. 

15. imagini, ghost. 

16. virga. Mercury's magic wand 
and symbol of power — which he used 
to guide or conduct the souls of the 
dead to Hades. 

17. non . . . recludere, this is a cir- 
cumlocution for implacable. Lenis 
agrees with Mercurius (1. 18); non 
lenis is equivalent to deaf. 

18. nigro compulerit gregi, has 
forced to join the dark crew (the band 
of ghosts bound hellward). 

19. Durum, supply esi. levius, i.e., 
for those who survive, patientia, 
time alone will heal grief. 

20. id quod corrigere non possumus, 
the immutability of death. This en- 
tire clause is the subject of ^^ (1. 19). 

[f] "Fourth" Asclepiadean 
[i] A hymn to Diana and Apollo 

1. dicite, sing of. virgines, voca- 

2. intonsum, with long locks falling 
over his shoulders. Cjmthium, Ap- 

3-4. Latona (or Leto)^ beloved of 

Jupiter, and mother of Apollo and 

5. Vos, the girls, laetam, Diana, 
the object of tollite laudibus (1. 9). 
coma, foliage. 

6. quaecumque prominet, whatever 
(foliage) grows. 

6-8. Algidus, Erymanthus, Gragus, 
mountains in Latium, Arcadia, and 
Lycia respectively — favorite wood- 
land haunts of Diana. 

7-8. aut nigris Erymanthi [silvis 
aut silvis viridis Gragi. 

9. Tempe, the name of a valley. 

10. mares, pueri. natalem, birth- 

11-12. umerum insignem pharetra, 
(Apollo's) shoulder adorned with the 

12. Apollo's IjTe was given him by 
his brother. Mercury. 

14-15. Lit., from the Romans onto 
the Persians. 

[ii] To a shy maiden 

1. hinuleo similis, like to a fawn. 

2. a-viis, adjective. 

4. siluae, silvae. 

5. vepris inhorruit, the bush has 

7. dimovere, dimoverunt. lacer- 
tae, lizards. 

8. tremit, the subject is it (the 

10. frangere, an infinitive of pur- 

11-12. tandem, tempestiva viro (ripe 
for a husband) , desine sequi matrem. 

[g] "Fifth," or Greater, Asclepiadean 
In praise of wine 

1. NuUam severis, ne severis ullam, 
expresses prohibition. Severis is from 
the verb sero (sow), vite (from vitis), 
an ablative of comparison, with prius: 
sooner (or rather) than, arborem, the 
grapevine may be called a tree. 

2. solixm, noun, soil. Tiburis, do 

Notes: Horace (Odes) 


not confuse the city Tibur (modern 
Tivoli) — one of Horace's favorite 
haunts — with the river Tiberis. Ca- 
tilus, one of the legendary founders of 

3. Siccis, teetotalers. Cf. the old 
song (anonymous): 

The man who drinks cold water 

And goes to bed quite sober, 
Falls as the leaves do fall, 
So early in October. 

4. alitor, i.e., than by drinking. 

5. This is a rhetorical question: 
Who chooses melancholy subjects of 
conversation? Answer: No one! 

6. te, the object of crepat (1. 5) or 
any other verb of speaking, decens, 


Selections From Books I-HI 

[a] A Poet's Mission 

[i] Prologue 

Meter: first Asclepiadean. 

1-2. These two lines serve as a 
dedication of the entire three-book 

1. edits, vocative, nate, descended 
from. Maecenas traced his descent 
from an Etruscan royal house, 
atavis, ancestors. 

3-5. The various types of men are 
known by their ambitions; the first 
type being the Olympic athlete. 

3. Sunt quos, there are those whom. 
pulverem, i.e., of the chariot race — 
the most glorious and spectacular 
event at the Games. 

4. iuvat, it pleases. 

5. evitata, the man who grazed the 
turning post (meta) had the inside 
track and generally won. palma, the 
palm branch — token of victory. Sup- 
ply iuvfit. 

6-8. The second type of man is the 

6. evehit, it exalts — with pride at 
attaining life's ambition. Terrarum 
dominos, in apposition with deos. 

8. to raise him to the three offices. 
The cursus honorum consisted of: (1) 
the aedileship; (2) the praetorship; 
and (3) the consulship. 

9-10. The third type is the capital- 
ist, whose ambition it is to corner the 
grain market. 

9. horreum, barn. 

10. quicquid, whatever grain, all the 
grain that, verritur, is swept. 

11-14. The fourth tjrpe is the 
husbandman, or yeoman. 

11. Gaudentem, eum qui gaudet. 
sarculum, hoe. 

12. Attalicis condicionibus, the 
terms of an Attalus (or Croesus) — ^i.e., 
fabulous bribes. 

13. trabe, bark, ship. 

14. nauta, as a sailor. The yoe- 
man is a landlubber. 

15-18. The fifth type is the mer- 
chant (not the sailor), who risks his all 
in commercial ventures overseas and 
is urged on, in spite of losses, by his 
life's ambition to gamble once more. 

19-22. The sixth type is the lover of 
Epicurean ease, the gentle dreamer 
and aesthete. 

20. solido, unbroken, wholly de- 
voted to business, strenuous. 

21-22. membra stratus, ht., 
stretching out his limbs — i.e., reclining. 

22. caput, source, fountain head. 

23-24. The seventh type is the 
soldier, lituo . . . , tuba^ sonitus per- 
mixtus lituo {horn). 

25-28. The eighth type is the 

25. love, sky. 

27. catulis, dogs, a dative of agent. 

28. teretes plagas, the smooth nets. 
29-36. These lines contain the 

climax; they deal with the ninth type 


Notes: Horace (Odes) 

of man — the poet — , represented by 
Horace himself. 

29. hederae, ivy. Like bay and 
laurel, ivy formed the crown of the 
"poet laureate." praemia doctanim 
frontium, in apposition with hederae. 

30. miscent, unite me withj put me 
on a par with. 

30-31. gelidum . . . chori, the land 
of fancy (or romance) . 

32. populo, the common herd, hoi 
polloi. tibias, her music, her inspira- 

33. cohibet, withhold. 

34. tendere, tune. 

35. vatibus, hards. 

36. This is a witty description of 
his pride at attaining his life's am- 

[ii] Consecration 

Meter: Alcaic. 

1. die age tibia, come, play on the 

2. regina Calliope, vocative, melos, 

5. Auditis, this is very dramatic — 
as if, in immediate response to his 
prayer, Horace hears heavenly har- 
monies; and turning to those present, 
asks : Do you hear it too? 

6-7. videor audire [aliquid] et errare. 

6-8. pics luces . . . , the land of 
fancy (or romance) (cf. 11. 30-31 of 
the prologue) . 

9. Voltiire, the name of a mountain, 
fabulosae, with palumbes (1. 12). 

10. Pulliae, the name of his old 
nurse — ^who was probably a peasant 

11. fatigatum ludo somnoque. 

13. quod foret, ut hoc esset. mi- 
rum, miraculum. 

14-16. Aceruntia, Bantia, Foren- 
tum, these are mountain towns — 
landmarks in the haunts of Horace's 
childhood. Their quaint names add 
picturesque local color to the story. 

16. tenent, habitant. 

19. -que . . . -que, both . . . and. 

21-24. Wherever I go, I am yours. 
Four of Horace's favorite haunts are 
indicated: (1) his Sabine farm; (2) 
Praeneste (now Palestrina) ; (3) Tibur 
(now Tlvoli) ; and (4) Baiae (a famous 
seashore resort). 

22. toUor, / climb. 

22-24. seu . . . seu, in English or 
when sounds more logical than or if. 

23. Praeneste, Tibur, supply pla- 
cuit (has caught my fancy) with each 
of these. 

25. amicum, really expresses cause: 
because I was devoted to — which is 
the point of the whole matter. 
Horace wittily claims to be the pro- 
tege of the Muses, the darling of the 

26-28. Three miraculous escapes 
from death in Horace's mature years 
are here alluded to; the episodes of 
the falling tree and the storm at sea 
are of course not known to history, 
but the Battle of Philippi is. 

26. versa acies retro, the rout. 

27. devota, accursed. 

29. Utcumque, whenever. 

30. navita, nauta, as a sailor. 

34. Concanum, the name of a 
barbarous Spanish tribe. 

36. Scythicum amnem, the river 
Tanais (now the Don). 

[Hi] Metamorphosis 

Meter: Alcaic. 

1. Non usitata, inusitata. nee te- 
nui, grandi. ferar, volabo. 

2. aethera (Greek), accusative. 
2-3. biformis vates, a swan-bard 

(allegorical) . 

4. invidia maior, lit., greater than 
envy — i.e., superior to (or victorious 
over) envy. 

5. urbis, the haunts of men. 

6. sanguis, filius. quem vocas, 
the friend whom you invite to your board. 

8. In Hades. 

Notes: Horace (Odes) 


9-10. residunt . . . pelles, lit., the 

rough skin is settling on my legs — i.e., 
/ am getting the thin scaly legs of a bird. 

10. pelles, a poetic plural, album 
alitem, swan. 

11. supeme, adverb, above the waist. 
13. Daedaleo Icaro, than Icarus, 

son of Daedalus — who flew with arti- 
ficial wings. 

14-16. visam canorus ales, /, a 
singing bird, shall visit — an allegory of 
his immortal fame, which will extend 
to the ends of the earth. Bospori, 
Syrtis, Hyperboreos, the eastern, 
southern, and northern extremities. 

18. Marsae, Latinae. ultimi, re- 

19-20. peritus Hiber, the clever 
Iberian (or Spaniard) . 

20. Rhodani, of the river Rhone. 

21. inani, useless — because he will 
not die, but will be metamorphosed! 
neniae, dirges. 

24. mitte, omitte. 

[iv] An enduring monument 

Meter: first Asclepiadean. 
1-5. Horace's poetry is his monu- 
ment — eternal and indestructible. 

1. Exegi, / have completed. 

2. situ, mass, pile. 

3. impotens, mad. 

6. omnis, totus, wholly. 

7. Libitinam, the goddess of under- 
takers! Usque, ever, with crescam. 

8. recens, fresh, living, dum, as 
long as. 

9. virgine, Vestal. 

10. Dicar, lit., / shall be said — i.e., 
people shall say that I. qui, where. 
Aufidus, name of a river near Hor- 
ace's birthplace. Here Horace meas- 
ures his fame not by world-wide 
recognition, but by the fact that he 
will make his native village famous. 

11. Daunus, the name of a myth- 
ical king of Apulia, pauper aquae, 
Apulia is an arid land. 

12. populorum, the genitive with 

regnare is a Greek construction, ex 
humili potens, Horace was a self-made 

12-14. ex . . . modes, this is indi- 
rect discourse, depends on dicar (1. 

13. Aeolium, lyric — for Sappho and 
Alcaeus were Aeolic Greeks. 

14. deduxisse, transfer, adapt, mo- 
des, measures, rhythms. Sume . . . , 
Horace will assume no pride for the 
achievement, but will pass it on to the 
Muse; she, in turn, will crown him 
with the humble laurel. 

15. quaesitam meritis, gained by 
thy merits. 

15-16. mihi cemam, meam comam. 

[b] A Poet's Tastes 
[i] Good cheer and a light heart 

Meter: Alcaic. 

1. ut, how. alta, deep. 

2. Soracte, neuter, the name of a 
famous landmark — a lone peak about 
twenty-five miles north of Rome, 
clearly visible from the city, especi- 
ally when snow-capped in severe 
winter weather, onus, i.e., of snow. 

4. censtiterint, stand still, cease to 
flow — because frozen solid. 

6. repenens, replenishing, piling. 

7. quadrimum, four-year-old. 

8. dieta, from the jar. Thaliar- 
chus, the poet's cupbearer. 

9. simul, supply atque. 

10. stravere, have stilled. 

11-12. Why worry about storms — 
calm is sure to follow ! erni, ash trees. 

13. fuge, don't. 

14. quemcimique dierum, whatever 
number of days, whatever span of life. 

16. puer, my lad. This is advice 
to the young. 

17. abest, supply tibi (agreeing 
with virenti). 

18-24. These are the delights of 
love — which the young man is ad- 
vised to pursue. 


Notes: Horace (Odes) 

20. repetantur, this verb has five 
subjects (campus, areae, susurri, ri- 
sus, and pignus): let the Campus 
Martius be sought and the squares and 
the whispers, etc. — ^i.e., my lad, seek the 
Campus Martius, etc. The Campus 
and the squares were places to meet 
one's sweetheart, composita, ap- 
pointed, trysting. 

21-22. gratus risus, proditor latentis 
puellae, ab intimo angulo. 

23. pignus, keepsake — e.g., a brace- 
let or ring. 

24. male pertinaci, ill-resisting, 
would-be reluctant. 

[ii] To a boon companion of his youth 

Meter: Alcaic. 

1-5. The Pompeius, to whom these 
verses are addressed, is not other- 
wise known. Horace had evidently 
not seen him for about fifteen years — 
for they had been comrades-in-arms 
under Brutus, in 43^2 B.C.; mean- 
while Horace had become a poet, and 
Pompeius remained a soldier. 

1. tempus in ultimum, into extreme 
peril, face to face with death — probably 
a humorous exaggeration. 

2. Brute duce, an ablative abso- 
lute, when Brutus was general. 

3. quis, this introduces a rhetorical 
question — expressing surprise and 
pleasure. Quiritem, as a plain citi- 
zen — no longer a soldier or a rebel. 

6-7. diem fregi, broke (the monotony 
of) the day. 

7-8. nitentis . . . , capillos (accusa- 
tive of specification) nitentis (glisten- 
ing) malobathro (nard, myrrh, or any 
perfumed oil). 

9. Philippos, the Battle of Philippi 
— when the imperial forces defeated 
the republicans. 

10. sevisiyi experienced, nonbene, 
ignobly — i.e., I dropped my shield and 
ran. This is symbolical; whether 
Horace actually threw away his 
shield is doubtful, but the point is 

that he frankly confesses to have been 
no warrior — and in this respect was 
more than willing to follow the pre- 
cedent of the greatest Greek lyric 

11. fracta, supply est. minaces, 
supply homines. 

12. solum, terram. 

13-14. This is a parody on Homer, 
who sometimes had the gods rescue 
their favorite heroes from the field of 
battle denso aere (in a cloud) . 

16. unda fretis aestuosis, the stormy 
waters of life. 

17. obligatam, vowed, pledged — as a 
thank offering. 

18. latus, corpus. 
20. cadus, wine jug. 
22. ciboria, goblets. 

23-25. Quis . . . myrto, quis curat 
apio myrto-ve. This is spoken to the 
servants, deproperare, speed up, 
hasten the making of. 

25. Quem . . . , this is spoken to the 
guests. Venus, the double six. Venus 
was the nickname given the highest 
throw at dice. 

26. dicet, will name, will declare to 

27. Edonis, than the Thracians — 
notorious for their wild revels. 

27-28. recepto amico, an ablative 

{iii\ A quiet resting place 

Cf. Stevenson's Requiem: 
Under the wide and starry sky 

Dig the grave and let me lie: 
Glad did I live and gladly die, 

And I laid me down with a will. 

This be the verse you grave for me: 
''Here he lies where he long'd to be: 

Home is the sailor, home from the sea, 
And the hunter homefromthehill." 

Meter: Sapphic. 

1. Septimius, a very dear friend of 
Horace's, aditure, the future parti- 

Notes: Horace (Odes) 


ciple, expresses willingness. Gadis, 
accusative, Cadiz — mentioned be- 
cause it is so remote. 

2. Cantabrum, the Cantahrian folk 
— in Spain, indoctmn . . . , not yet 
completely conquered by the Romans. 

3. Syrtis, farthest south. 
5. positum, founded by. 

7. modus, goal. Supply wiM {for 
me) . lasso, wearied of. 

9. Unde, i.e., from Tibur. His sec- 
ond choice will then be Tarentum. 

11. petam, this has two objects: 
Jlumen Gnlaesi (11. 10-11) and rura 
(1. 12). Flumen is modified by dulce 
. . . ovibus {sweet to); rura^ by regnata 
. . . {ruled by), pellitis, skin-clad — 
to protect their wool. Laconi Pha- 
lantho, a dative of agent. Laconi is 
an adjective. 

13-14. terranun angulus, nook. 

14-15. non Hymetto decedimt, does 
not yield (in quality) to Hymettus 
(i.e., Hymettian honey). 

15. mella, a poetic plural, honey. 
15-16. baca certat, the olive xivals in 


16. Venaf rum, the name of a city — 
i.e., the olives of Venaf rum. 

18. brumas, winters. Aulon, a 
nominative singular masculine, the 
name of a mountain. 

19. Baccho, dative, with the ad- 
jective amicus, tninimnm, non. 

19-20. Falemis uvis, dative. 

22. arces, heights. 

23. favillam, ashes — ^when he is 

[c] Philosophy of Life 

[i] The golden mean 

Meter: Sapphic. 

1-4. This is a metaphor taken from 
navigation and so often used in 
modern sermons: how to chart one's 
course in life. 

1-2. altum urgendo, making for the 
deep, pressing out to sea. 

3. premendo, hugging. 

4. iniquum, dangerous. 

6. caret, avoids, obsoletii tumble- 

8. sobrius, the poor man is sober, 
the rich man habitually drunk as a 
lord, aula, palace. 

9. I.e., the lofty more often than 
the lowly. 

13-15. bene praeparatum pectus 
{mind) infestis {in time of adversity) 
sperat alteram sortem, secundis metuit 
alteram sortem. 

15-16. "If winter comes, can spring 
be far behind?" The same God who 
brings winter also takes it away. 

17. male, supply est. 

18. quondam, sometimes. 

19. suscitat, awakes, inspires. The 
subject is Apollo — ^who, as god of 
music, was kindly and ministered to 
happiness and prosperity; but as god 
of pestilence, brought adversity and 
shot the shafts of disease from his bow. 

21. Rebus angustis, this has the 
same construction and meaning as 
infestis (1. 13). 

23-24. The poem concludes with 
the same metaphorical reference to 
life's perilous journey with which it 

[w'l Enjoy the fleeting hour 

Meter: Alcaic. 

1-2. Aequam mentem, level headf 
calm (or philosophical) disposition. 

1. rebus arduis, adversity. 

2. non secus, similiter. 

3. [servare mentem] temperatam ab 
{restrained from) . 

4. moriture, mortalis. 

7. reclinatimi, lying at ease. 

8. with an inner brand of Falemian 
wine. The innermost brands in a 
wine celler are the best. 

9-12. This stanza consists of two 
rhetorical questions, both having the 
same answer: viz., for the enjoyment 
of man! 


Notes: Horace (Odes) 

9. Quo, why? populus, feminine, 
poplar tree. 

10. consociare, weave. 

11-12. This is a description of the 
babbling brook, oblique rivo, in its 
winding channel. 

12. lympha, aqua. 

13-16. Therefore make merry and 
enjoy the fleeting hour! 

15. reSf circumstances, aetas, ?/owr 
age — i.e., youth. Sororum, the Fates. 

16. fila, thread, atra, not black in 
actual color, but dark and gloomy by 

17. Cedes, depart from, coemptis 
saltibus, purchased pastures — i.e., 
broad estates. 

19. exstructis in altuin, piled high. 

21-23. Nil interest, dives-ne (utrum 
dives) sis an pauper sub divo {under the 
open sky, without a roof over your head) 
moreris (vivas). 

21. natus ab Inacho, descended from 
Inachus (first king of Argos) — i.e., of 
ancient aristocratic lineage. This is 
contrasted with infima de gente (11. 

24. victima, vocative, nil-miser- 
antis, pitiless. 

25. cogimur, are driven — like sheep. 
25-28. Omnium (everyone's) sors ver- 

satur (is shaken) urnd (in the urn), 
exitura (sure to leap out) ocius [aut] 
serius, et impositura nos cymbae 
(Charon's skiff on the River Styx) in 
(for) aeternum exilium. 

27. This is a hypermetric line. 
Elide the last syllable of aeternum 
with the vowel beginning 1. 28. 

[Hi] "Years glide on" 

Meter: Alcaic. 

1. Postiune, the repetition of the 
friend's name to whom the poem is 
addressed heightens the tone of 

3. rugis, to wrinkles. 

5. non si, not even if. trecenis, 
with tauris — a triple hecatomb! 

quotquot eunt dies, however many day 
pass — i.e., every day in the yeai 
The entire phrase is therefore equiva 
lent to the single word quotidie (o 
cottidie) . 

6. amice, Postume. places, fron 

7. Plutona (Greek), PZittonem. ter 
amplum, gigantic. 

8. Geryonen, Tityon (Greek), ac 
cusative. Geryon and Tityos were 
earth monsters condemned to eterna 
punishment in Hades. 

8-9. tristi unda, the River Styx— 
which encircled Hades. 

9. omnibus, by all of us. 

10. mimere, the fruits. 

13-16. It is vain to coddle oneseli 
and try to avoid peril, in the hope oi 
living longer; death is inevitable and 
comes upon us from unexpected 

13. marte, battle. 

16. austrum, the fever-laden au- 
tumn wind from Africa. 

17. Visendus, supply est tibi. 

18. Cocytus, the river of Wailing — 
one of the rivers of Hades, genus, 
the daughters — forty-nine in number 
(cf. In Praise of Hypermnestra, p. 

19-20. longi laboris, genitive of the 

20. Sisyphus, the son of Aeolus — 
condemned to roll a heavy stone up- 
hill forever. 

22-24. neque uUa, et nulla. 

22. arborimi, e.g., fruit trees. 

24. sequetur, i.e., to the next world 
— except the hated cypress, which is 
planted on one's grave! brevem, 

25. Caecuba, a neuter plural accu- 
sative, Caecuban wines, dignior, the 
heir who drinks the wines (instead of 
hoarding them) is worthier, because 
he knows enough to enjoy life. 

26. clavibus, keys. 

Notes: Horace (Odes) 


28. potiore, meliore. pontifictun 
cenis, than the banquets of high priests 
— i.e., than the wine at the banquets. 

[iv] Where is true peace to be found? 

Meter: Sapphic. 

2. prensus, the contracted form of 
prehensus — Ut., one caught (the trav- 
eler). Aegaeo, supply mari. simul, 
supply atque. 

3. condidit, ahscondidit. carta, 
clara — i.e., the stars by which the 
sailor steers grow dim. 

5-6. Supply divos rogat (or rogant) 
with each of these lines. 

5. Thrace (Greek), Thracia, the 
Thracians. The name of the country 
is used as a collective noun. 

6. decori, decorati. 

7. Grosphus, a friend of Horace's 
— to whom the ode is addressed. 

7-8. venale, agrees with otium, a 
-climax to all that has been said in the 
first two stanzas. 

9-10. submovet, this has two sub- 
jects: gazae (wealth) and lictor. In 
prose the verb would be plural. 
The thought is that worldly wealth 
and power have no control over spiri- 
tual matters. 

11. laqueata, paneled. 

13. vivitur [ab eo] bene, cui, lit., it is 
well lived by hinij for whom, i.e., he 
lives welly whose, parvo, at small ex- 

13-14. patemum salinum, implies 
that this salt cellar is his one and 
■only piece of family silver. 

15. ISvis, easy, carefree {not light or 
restless, as opposed to deep). 

17-20. These are rhetorical ques- 

17. Quid, why? aevo, span of life. 
18-19. terras mutamus, lit., we 

exchange for lands — a condensed way 
of saying: change our own land for 
(i.e., move to) other lands. 

18. calentis, calefactas, warmed by. 
21-24. Neither swift ships nor swift 

horses can outstrip care. 

21. aeratas, perhaps brass-beaked. 

22. turmas, troops, relinquit, lags 

26. in praesens, ad praesens [tem- 
pus]. quod ultra est, the object of 
curare — i.e., the future. 

26. amara, neuter plural, the ob- 
ject of temperet. 

29. cita, early, premature. 

30. minuit, wasted away. 

31-32. hora (tempus) porriget (dabit) 
mihi forsan [id] quod tibi nega[ve]rit. 

33. circum te, this is addressed to 
the millionaire. 

34. This is a hypermetric line. 
Elide the final syllable. 

35. apta quadrigis equa, the thor- 
oughbred race horse. 

35-36. bis tinctae, twice-dyed — 
therefore expensive. 

37. parva rura, emphasize parva. 

38. spiritum, inspiration. Graiae 
Camenae, Graecae Musae. 

39. non-mendax,vemrc. dedit,this 
has three objects: rura, spiritum, and 
spernere. The last is equivalent to 
a noun, scorn of. 

[v] The simple life is best 

Meter: Hipponactean couplet — i.e., 
a three-and-a-half foot trochaic, fol- 
lowed by a five-and-a-half foot iam- 
bic line: 

^ W ^ V ^ w X 

w^ v^ X— w^ ^ — X 

The first feet of 11. 6 and 34 are 
spondees; and the second foot of 1. 34 
is a tribrach. 

2. lacimar, ceiling. 

3. The architraves were of Hymet- 
tian (i.e., bluish) marble. 

4. recisas, quarried (African yellow 

5. Attali, like Croesus, he was 
proverbial for his wealth. 

8. honestae, high-born, trahunt 
purpuras, weave crimson cloth. 


Notes: Horace (Odes) 

10. est, supply mihi. 

12. lacesso, imploro. 

13. largiora, supply dona. 

14. Sabinis, my Sahine farm. 
15-22. Time flies, and our span of 

life is brief; but you — rich old sinner — 
go right on building palaces you'll 
never live to enjoy! 

15. dies sequitur diem. 

16. pergimt interire, hasten to wane. 
17-18, locas, a business term, let 

contracts for. secanda marmora, the 
sawing of marble slabs. 

18. subipsumfunus,mmmonfurws. 

19. struis, construis. 

20. maris, with litora. Bais ob- 
strepentis, thundering on Baiae (or 
Baae) — a fashionable seaside resort, 
where wealthy Romans built their 
summer palaces. Bais is dative. 
urges, strive. 

21. submovere, push back (from 
the land toward the water) — i.e., by 
building foundations out into the 

22. parum locuples, non satis 
locuples — in his own estimation, 
continente ripa, an ablative absolute, 
equivalent to: dum te ripa continet. 

23. usque, sv^xessively, one after 

24. agri tenninos, boundary stones. 
It was a crime of violence and sacri- 
lege to remove them ! 

24-26. ultra sails, overleap. 

26. Pellitur, is forcibly evicted. In 
prose the verb would be plural, for its 
subject is et uxor et vir (1. 28). 

29-32. tamen nulla aula^ certior 
destinata fine (than the bourne) 
rapacis Orci, manet divitem erum. 
Orcus was another name for Pluto, god 
of Hades. 

32. ultra, i.e., for greater wealth 
and power here on earth. Aequa, 

32-33. tellus recluditur, the grave. 

34. satelles Orci, Charon — ferry- 
man of the River Styx. 

35. Promethea (Greek), accusa- 
tive, Prometheus. 

36. revexit, i.e., from Hades, auro 
captus, it is not known who tried to 
bribe Charon, as this myth is not re- 
ferred to elsewhere. Hie, he (Orcus). 

38. genus, offspring (e.g., Pelops). 

38-40. levare . . . vocatus, vacatur 
{implored) levare (to set free) functum- 
laboribus (the weary) pauperem. The 
poor man prays for death. 

40. Orcus hears him when he prays 
— and even when he doesn't pray! 

[vi] Contentment 

Meter: Alcaic. 

1. profanum, those who are 

2. Favete Unguis, the priest's 
solemn invocation: keep holy silence! 

5-8. The first precept is to fear 

5. timendorum, used as an ad- 
jective, dread y mighty. Supply im- 
perium est (1. 6). 

5-6. in, over. 

7. clari, agrees with lovis, famous 
for. giganteo, adjective, used for the 
objective genitive; Gigantum, over the 

8. cuncta, the universe, superci- 
lio, with his eyebrow — i.e., slightest nod. 

9-16. The second precept is that 
wealth, power, and glory are unstable; 
Fate constantly shuffles the cards. 

9. Est ut (it is tru£ that) viro vir (alio 
alius or hie illo) latius. The em- 
phatic word is latius — indicating that 
one man is richer than another. 

10-14. hie . . . maior, one wins 
greater glory in politics than another. 
Three candidates are mentioned: one 
of superior birth, one of superior char- 
acter and reputation, and one of 
greater popularity (as indicated by 
the number of his clients). 

10. generosior, of nobler lineage — 
a great advantage in Roman politics. 
The novus homo had a hard struggle. 

Notes: Horace (Odes) 


16. insignis, the opposite of imos — 
therefore equivalent to summos. 

17-24. The third precept is that the 
kingdom of Heaven is within us. 

17-18. {Ei]y cui . . . ensis (of 
Damocles) . . . pendet, non Siculae 
dapes. The latter were proverbial for 
their luxury. 

25-32. The fourth precept is that 
in simplicity there is strength. 

25. Desiderantem, eum qui desi- 
derat. quod satis est, the object of 
desiderantem; only what is enough — 
and no more. This is true modera- 
tion, in contrast to the wealthy mer- 
chant (11. 26-28) and the great land- 
owner (11. 29-32). 

29. verberatae grandine, beaten 
doum by hail. 

30. mendax, the farm is personi- 
fied by a bold metaphor: it belies the 
expectations of its owner, not yielding 
the promised profit. 

30-31. arbore . . . culpante, the 
same bold metaphor is continued : the 
fruit trees blame flood, drought, and 
frost for their failure. Arbore is used 
as a collective noun. 

32. sidera, the heavenly bodies 
(including the moon) — which were 
believed to influence the weather. 

33-48. The fifth precept is that 
worldly wealth brings neither freedom 
from care nor assuagement of grief. 

33-34. The very fish resent the in- 
trusion on their domain, when the 
great lord builds his pleasure palace 
out into the sea (as Nero later did at 

34. altum, mare, molibus, mason- 
ry, hue, in mare. 

34-36. frequens redemptor cum 
famulis, many a builder with his gang 
of slaves. 

36. terrae, with fastidiosus (1. 37). 

39. decedit, supply Cura (1. 40) as 

41. lapis, marble. 

42. clarior, agrees grammatically 

with the noim usus (1. 43), but logic- 
ally modifies purpurarum. 

43-44. Falema vitis, Falemian 

44. costum, nard — ^the name of a 

45-46. novo ritu atrium, a new- 
fangled reception hall, invidendis 
postibus et sublime, with gorgeous 
columns and high ceilings. 

47. valle, my valley ^ my retreat. 

48. operosiores, more troublesome. 

[d] Love 
[i] To a lady 

Meter: fifth Asclepiadean. 

1-3. Don't ask the astrologers, or 
Babylonian Magi (the most popular 
prognosticators of the future in im- 
perial Rome). 

1. scire . . . , nefas est scire. 

2. finem, end of life, limit of days. 

3. tempta[ve]ris, a perfect sub- 
junctive, don't try. numeros, calcula- 
tions — of the horoscope. Ut, how. 
The English idiom is: how much. 

4. tribuit, has granted. This has 
two objects: hiemes and ultimam (as 
our last). 

5. this winter which now wears out 
the sea upon the rocks. 

6. sapias, the subjunctive of com- 
mand. This is whimsical advice! 
liques (from liquare), strain, filter — 
for drinking! spatio brevi, because o/ 
the brevity of life. 

8. quam minimum, equivalent to 
non, modifies credula. credula, fem- 
inine — because it is addressed to Leu- 
conoe. postero, futuro. 

[n] Love maketh a man righteous 

Meter: Sapphic. 

1. Integer, blameless. 

2-4. He needs no earthly weapons 
of defense because he wears the armor 
of righteousness. 

3. gravida, heavy with, full of. 


Notes: Horace (Odes) 

4. pharetra, the object of eget. 

5-8. sive per Syrtis, sive per Cavr- 
■casum, sive per loca quae lambit 
Hydaspes, iter facturus est. 

9-24. With characteristic wit, Hor- 
ace offers himself as an example 
of sainthood; for as long as he is in 
love, his is a charmed life! 

10. Lalagen, one of Horace's imag- 
inary ladyloves. The name means 

11. curis expeditis, an ablative 
absolute — ^lit., vnth cares thrown off. 
terminum, i.e., of his Sabine farm. 

13. quale portentum, such a monster 
as, in apposition with lupus (1. 9). 

14. Daunias, a wild region of 
Southern Italy, aesculetis, in its oak 

15. tellus, Mauritania. 
17-20. In the far north. 

19. quod latus mundi, in apposition 
with the entire preceding clause, what 
quarter of the world, nebulae, supply 
urgent (oppress). 

20. luppiter, sky^ climate. 
21-22. In the tropics. 

[Hi] The lovers' quarrel 

Meter: second Asclepiadean. 

Horace and Lydia speak in alter- 
nate stanzas throughout the ode. 
The lovers have had a falling-out, 
and to spite the other, each has taken 
a new love. In the first pair of 
stanzas, each confesses that the former 
state was happier; but in the second 
pair, each avows devotion to his or 
her new love; finally in the third pair 
Lydia jdelds and returns to her former 
lover (Horace) — but not without a 
witty taunt or two. 

1. Donee, as long as. 

2. potior, preferred to me. 

3. cervici dabat, put around your 

5-6. alia arsisti (from ardeo), aliam 

7. [ego], Lydiamultinominis {fame). 

8. clarior . . . , more famous than 
Roman Ilia (mother of Romulus and 

9. Thressa, Thracian. 

10. docta modos, skilled in musical 

12. si fata parcent animae {my 
sweetheart) superstiti {a survivor — ^i.e., 
to survive). 

13. face, from fax. 

14. Calais, Ornytus, these are ficti- 
tious Greek names (like all the rest in 
this ode) — romantic to Latin ears. 

16. The construction here is iden- 
tical with that of 1. 12. puero, lad, 

18. diductos, supply nos, parted (or 
estranged), aeneo, brazen — i.e., un- 
breakable. The reference is to wed- 

22. ille, Calais (see 11. 13-14). 
cortice, cork. 

23. Hadria, than the Adriatic. 

[iv] To a coquette 

Meter: fourth Asclepiadean. 

1. multa in rosa, amid many a rose 
— a sentimental picture in a pastoral 

2. ordoribus, perfumes. urget, 

4. Cui, for whom? — implying that 
she changes her mind often. 

5. suaplexxnanditus, simple in your 

5-16. Horace speaks as a genial 

5. fiidem, your ill-faith. 

6. mutatos deos, the reversal of 
heaven's favor — ^i.e., his changed luck. 

6-7. asp era . . . ventis, this is 
metaphorical; her stormy disposition, 
her wrath. 

8. insolens, astounded, innocently 

9. aurea, good as gold, perfect. 

10. vacuam, heart-free, supply te 

Notes: Horace (Odes) 


12. Miseri, wretched are they {who 
have not taken a chance) — a supremely 
witty observation. 

13-16. me . . . , Horace has been 
there! Those who escape from peril 
express their thanks to God by dedi- 
cating a picture and other evidence of 
the event in the shrine of their patron 
saint — so, in courting Pyrrha, Horace 
avows that he was shipwrecked! 
Sacer paries indicat tabula votivd, me 
suspendisse uvida vestimenta (evidence 
of shipwreck) deo potenti maris. 

[v] A recantation 

Meter: Alcaic. 

1. matre, than thy mother. 

2-4. quemcumque libet, qicemlibet, 

2. modum, ^nem. 

3-4. sive . . . , burn them or drown 

4. mari, ablative. 

6-12. The poet-philosopher de- 
noimces wrath: No god so drives to 
frenzy^ no furies so ra{/e, a^ wrath. 
Three gods are mentioned: Dindy- 
mene (Cybele), Pjrthian Apollo, and 
Liber (Bacchus); the furies are the 
Corybantes, or wild dervish-like 
priests of the Magna Mater, who clash 
their brazen cymbals (geminant asra). 

5. adytis, in the sanctuary. 

6. incola Pythlus, he who dwells in 
Pytho (or Delphi) — ^i.e., Apollo. 

9-12. neque . . . tumultu, i.e., neither 
sword nor sea nor fire nor thunder- 

13-16. Wrath is a universal human 

13. Fertur, dicitur. According to 
Greek mythology, when the demigod 
Prometheus came to fashion man — 
having first created all the animals — 
he found that he had used up all his 
stock of ingredients — so he had to 
make a blend of the lion's bravery, the 
fox's cunning, and so forth. 

13-14. principi limo, original clay — 

of which man's fleshly substance was 

14. undique, from all the animals. 

15. et, etiam. 

16. stomacho, spleen — ^the seat of 

17-21. Wrath is the root of all evil. 

17-18. Thyesten stravere, laid 
Thyestes loiv. 

18-19. urbibus . . . , [ira£\ steterunt 
causae {ira fuit causa) cur urbes peri- 

20-21. [cur] exercitus (subject) im- 
primeret aratrum (object) muris. To 
run a plow over groimd where walls 
once stood is symbolical of complete 

22. Compesce mentem, compesce 
iram. This is the moral of it all. 

22-24. pectoris fervor, ira. 

25-26. mitibus tristia, bitterness 
into gentleness. 

26. dum, provided. 

27-28. recantatis opprobriis, post- 
quam opprobria recantavi. 

28. animum, affecticyrij heart. 

[e] Country Life 
[i] To the Spring of Bandusia 

Meter: fourth Asclepiadean. 

I. vitro, glass. 

2-3. As a rustic sacrifice, wine 
would be poured into the spring and 
flowers scattered, or the blood of a 
slaughtered animal sprinkled, over it. 

3. donaberis haedo, haedus dabitur 

5. destinat, indicates, presages. 

5-6. The grown goat exists for 
breeding (venus) and fighting (proelia), 
but .this kid will never fulfill its 

8. The kid. 

9. hora Caniculae, the season of the 
Dog Star. 

lO.-nescit, often used by poets for 

II. vomere, plowshare. 


Notes: Horace (Odes) 

13. fontimn, a partitive genitive, 
one of. 

14. dicente, singing of, with the 

[ii] A prayer to Faun 

Meter: Sapphic. 

2. finis, i.e., farm, aprica, sunny. 

3. lenis, mild, unwrathful. 

4. alumnis, nurslings — e.g., lambs, 

5. pleno anno, at the end of the year. 
Faun's Day came in December (cf. 
1. 10). cadit, is sacrificed. 

6. nee larga vina desunt craterae 
(from the bowl), Veneris sodali (in ap- 
position with craterae). 

10. nonae, the Nones. 

12. pagus, countryside — ^i.e., the 

13. On Faun's Day all nature was 
supposed to be at peace, and the lion 
would lie down with the lamb. 

15. invisam, hated — because the 
peasant has to win his bread from it 
by the sweat of his brow. 

16. In the dance. 

[Hi] Rustic faith 

Meter: Alcaic. 

1. supinas, suppliant, tuleris, the 
future perfect, sustuleris, raise. 

2. nsiscente J new. 

3. ture, from tus. placaris, placa- 
veris. horna, adjective, this year's. 

5. Africum, the wind that brings 

6. vitis, vine. 

7. robiginem, Might, mildew. 
alumni, lambs. 

8. grave, dangerous, anno, season. 
9-13. nam devota victima (e.g., a 

prize bull), quae pascitur in Algido 
out crescit in Albano (famous hill 
pastures), tinguet cervice (sanguine) 
securis (axes — accusative plural) pon- 

13. Te, Phldyle. attinet, pertinet. 

14. temptare, importune — the gods, 
bidentitun, sheep. 

15. coronantem, agrees with te. 
15-16. marino rore, rosemary. 

18. This is in apposition with 
manus; not more persuasive because of 
any costly victim. 

19. moUivit, it (the hand) placates, 
a gnomic perfect. 

20. Meal and salt were the hum- 
blest of offerings, saliente mica, 
crackling grains (of salt). 

[f] Rome 

1^1 The Ship of State 

Meter: fourth Asclepiadean. 
The watcher from the shore sees the 
ship in dire peril. 

3. ut, how, supply sit. 

4. remigio, oarage, oars. 

5. malus, mast. 

6. antemnae, yardarms. funibus, 

7. carinae, a poetic plural, the hull. 

8. imperiosius, stormy. 

9. lintea, sails. 

10. di, the images of the gods 
carved on the bow of the ship, now- 
adays called the figurehead. This is 
an allegory of the desertion of the 
state by its protecting divinities. 
quos . . . , qux)s tu (the ship), iterum 
pressa malo (disaster), voces (may in- 

11. Pontica pinus, once a Pontic 
pine tree. The ship is supposed to be 
made of the stoutest and best ma- 

13. iactes, boast of. inutile, sup- 
ply est. 

14. pictis puppibus, the figurehead 
could also be in the stern, navita, 

16. debes, are doomed to be. 

17. Nuper, during the Civil Wars. 
taedium, supply eras. 

18. nunc [quae es], under Augustus. 

Notes: Horace (Odes) 


19-20. vites (subjunctive of com- 
mand) aequora, ivterfusa (lying be- 
tween) Cycladas — a spot where navi- 
gation was particularly dangerous 
(symbolical here of danger in general). 

[ii] On the triumph of Augustus over 

Meter: Alcaic. 

2. pulsanda [est], in the dance. 
2-4. Saliaribus dapibus, with a 

splendid banquet — ^fit for the salii, or 
leaping priests of Mars, who were 
notorious for their princely feasts. 

3. pulvinar, sacred couch. Horace 
proposes a lectisternium — a religious 
ceremony, in which the images of the 
gods were placed on couches and a 
banquet spread before them. 

4. tempus erat, would be the time. 
In phrases of this sort the indicative 
mood often expresses potentiality. 

5. Antehac, pronounced antdc, dis- 
syllabic, nefas, supply erat. 

6. cellis avitis, from storerooms 

7. regina, Cleopatra, dementis, 
the queen was mad, and the ruins were 
chaotic; but Horace unites the two 
ideas, and calls the ruins mad\ 

6-8. Capitolio ruinas et imperio 
{the Empire) funus parabat. 

10-11. impotens sperare quidlibet, 
(Cleopatra) mad enough to hope for 

13. sospes, lit., safe — i.e., the fact 
that barely one ship escaped. 

14. lymphatam, crazed. Mareo- 
tico, Egyptian wine. 

15. veros timores, these are con- 
trasted with the hallucinations of her 
drunken madness. 

17. adtirgens, instans, sequins, vel- 
ut, introduces two similes: as hawk 
chases dove, or hunter chases rabbit. 

21. fatale monstrum, Cleopatra. 

21-32. This is a tribute to Cleo- 
patra's courage, cf. the lines from 

Tennyson's Dream of Fair Women: 
I died a Queen. The Roman soldier 
Me lying dead, my crown about my 
A name forever! — lying robed and 
Worthy a Roman spouse. 

21. Quae, she. 

23. latentis, unknown, distant. 

24. reparavit, gained, reached. 

25. etfCven. isicentem.f fallen, pros- 

26-27. fortis et tractare, brave 
enough to handle even. 

29. deliberata morte, an ablative 
absolute, expresses cause: quoniam 
mori deliberaverat. 

30-32. invidens (scorning) deduci 
[Romam] Liburnis (by swift ships) 
triumpho (for triumph). The Libur- 
nae were a special type of speedy 

[Hi] A prayer to Fortuna 

Meter: Alcaic. 

1. diva, dea. Antium, a seashore 
town near Rome — it had a famous 
oracle and temple of Fortuna. 

2. praesens, able — either to exalt 
the lowly or to humble the proud. 

6. dominam, as mistress, as queen — 
because the sea is full of risks and 

7-8. Every voyager. 

9. profugi, nomad. 

13. iniurioso, irreverent. 

14. stantem columnam., stable gov- 
ernment, populus frequens, the mob 
in time of civil war or popular up- 
rising — the bugbear of monarchs and 
established powers. 

15. cessantis, the timid. 

17. anteit, pronounced antlt, dis- 

17-20. This is an allegorical pic- 
ture of the goddess Fortuna accom- 
panied by her satellite, Fatef who car- 
ries the symbols of immutabihty — 


Notes: Horace (Epistles) 

viz., the tools and materials for erect- 
ing indestructible masonry. What 
Necessity, or Fate, constructs (or 
decrees) man cannot tear down (or 

18. clavos trabalis, spikes — used 
by the builder. 

19. aena, brazen. In modern 
times the obvious metaphor is iron. 

20. uncus, iron clamp. In Greek 
and Roman architecture large blocks 
of masonry were held together not by 
mortar, but by iron clamps sunk in 
the stone and held in place by solder, 


21-22. Spes, Fides, these are both 
subjects of colit and abnegat. In prose 
these verbs would be plural, albo 
panno velata, clad in white. 

22. comitem abnegat, refuse to 
be companion, refuse their companion- 
ship — to Necessity. 

23. utcumque, whenever. 

23-24. mutata veste, where garb has 
been changed — to black, for mourning. 

24. linquis, this is addressed to 
Fortuna — ^who deserts her one-time 

25-28. These lines complete the 
picture of the downfall of the mighty. 

25. vulgus, the hangers-on. mere- 
trix, harlot. 

25-26. retro cedit, fade away. 

27. faex, dregs. 

28. ferre pariter, share. The in- 
finitive depends on dolosi. 

29. Serves, a prayer. 

29-30. in. , , , fin (against) Britan- 
nos, ultimas (remotest) orbis (of the 
earth) . 

31. examen, the object of serves; 
swarm, band — i.e., the army. 

31-32. Eois partibus . . . , i.e., by 
our oriental foes. 

33. cicatrix, scar, pudet, supply 
nos (accusative). 

34-35. dura aetas, in apposition 
with nos (nominative). 

35. Quid nefasti, a partitive geni- 
tive, hardly different from quid nefas. 

39. incude (from mcus),anwZ. dif- 
fingas, refashion. 

39-40. retusum f errum, our blunted 

39. in, (for use) against. 



On Independence of Character 


2. sextilem, sixth month — reck- 
oned from March as the first month 
of the year, later renamed "August" 
in honor of the Emperor Augustus. 

4-5. veniam (noun), quam mihi das 
aegro, dabis [mihi] timenti. 

5. dum, while, as long as. fiCus, fig. 
5-9. This is a himiorous description 

of the unhealthfulness of Rome in 
summer and autumn. 

6. dissignatorem, undertaker, lic- 
toribus, pallbearers. 

7. matercula, fond mother. 

8. officiosa, social, opella, a con- 
temptuous diminutive of opera. 

9. re-signat, unseals — because of 
the death of the testator. 

10. Quodsi, equivalent to when. 
illinet, daubs, smears. Horace does 
not enthuse over the snow. 

11. ad mare, perhaps to Baiae or 
Tarentum (not to Rome). 

12. contractus, huddled up — be- 
cause of the cold. 

13. hirundine, swallow. 

Notes: Horace (Epistles) 


True Generosity and Gratitude 

14. piris (from pirum) , pears. Cala- 
ber, Calabrian — a typical rustic boor, 
hospes, host, the subject of iubet, 
supply his guest as the object. 

15. tu, Maecenas, sodes, if you 
please, familiar in Plautus and Ter- 
ence. These are the words of the 
Calabrian host. 

16. lam satis est, the guest replies: 
rve had enough. Benigne, equivalent 
to no thank you. 

17. Take them home to the chil- 

19. libet, supply tibi. 

20. Prodigus et stultus, one who is 
both generous and stupid, the stupid 
giver. Maecenas is just the opposite, 
being a wise giver. 

21. seges, equivalent to seed. 
tulit, has produced, omnibus annis, 

22. dignis \hominibus\, dative, pa- 
ratus, his purse is open. 

23. aera lupinis, real money from 
beans — used for stage money. 

24. praestabo, show, pro, in pro- 
portion to. merentis, of my benefactor. 

25. reddes, give me back. 

26. forte latus, . . . , youth. Latus 
means body. 

27. loqui, ridere, these are used as 
nouns, decorum, used adverbially. 

28. Cinarae, Cinara was Horace's 
greatest youthful flame — she jilted 
him. In old age he thinks fondly 
even of the tragedies of his youth. 

Independence Comes High 

29. Forte, from fors. tenuis, thin. 
volpecula, little fox. rimam, crack. 

30. cumeram, bin. 

32. mustela, weasel. 

33. macra (from macer), lean. 
cavimi, hole, artum (from artus-a- 
um), narrow. 

34. Hac . . . imagine, if I am like 
the fox in the fable, ctmcta, i.e., 

your gifts — on which I have grown 

35-36. (I can do so, if I must, be- 
cause) I am neither a hypocrite 
(praising the simple life and living in 
luxury), nor a toady (but value my 
independence at any price). 

35. somnum plebis, the simple life 
(cf. Epode [1], Country Joys; p. 51, 
1. 28). satur altilium, full of fattened 
fowls (or capons). 

36. muto, equivalent to the future, 
will I exchange. 

37. verectmdum, supply me. rex, 

38. audisti, logically equivalent to 
you have been called, verbo parcius, 
lit., more sparingly by a word — i.e., any 
less fully. 

Appropriateness Should Rule in All 

40. baud male, bene (i.e., facete), 
supply dixit. Ulixi, Ulixes and Ulisses 
are variants of Odysseus. 

41-43. These lines are a paraphrase 
of a very human episode in the 
Odyssey (Book IV, 11. 601-605), in 
which the youthful Telemachus 
naively, but sensibly, refuses a gen- 
erous but inappropriate gift of the 
great King Menelaus. 

41. Itbace, the small and rocky 
island of Ithaca — home of Ulysses. 
ut, causal, as being. 

43. Atride, son of Atreus (Mene- 

44. Parvum, supply hominem. 

Philip and Volteius Mena 

46. L. Marcius Philippus was con- 
sul in 91 B.C. and a great man in his 
day. Cicero (De Oratore III, 1, 4) 
describes him as: vehemens et disertus 
et imprimis fortis ad resistendum. 
Horace's story — whether or not based 
on fact — is unique in Roman litera- 
ture as a realistic short story of city 
life; he depicts Philippus as the typi- 


Notes: Horace (Epistles) 

cal millionaire and tired business man 
— a tyrant in his own domain, and 
none too scrupulous in his choice of 
relaxation and entertainment, fortis, 
resolute, forceful. 

47. octavam, 3 p.m. 

48. reditf supply domum. Carinae, 
the fashionable residential quarter of 

50. a.dTSLSum.quendaxn.f a fellow just 
shaved. At first glance Philippus sizes 
up the man as an amusing character, 
whose acquaintance might be worth 
cultivating, umbra, under the awning. 

51. unguis, finger nails. It does 
Philippus' heart good to see a man 
who does not have to worry about 
social conventions, but can be just as 
bourgeois as he pleases. 

52. Demetri, Philippus speaks to 
his servant (puer) . laeve, awkwardly, 
slowly. His servants jumped when 
they were spoken to! 

53-54. tmde . 

these are four 

indirect questions. Thus do domi- 
neering plutocrats cross-question their 

54. cuius fortunae, how well off he 
is. quo-ve patrono, or (if he be slave- 
born) who his patron (i.e., former 
owner) is. Before the law, a slave 
was filius nullius. 

55-59. Volteium . . . , this is in- 
direct discourse, depends on narrat, 
supply eum esse. These lines give 
the substance of Mena's replies to 
Demetrius' questions: My name is 
Volteius Mena; I am an auctioneer; 
etc. The replies confirm Philippus' 
estimate of Mena as an amusing 

55. Volteium Menam, the hybrid 
name ( Volteius being Latin, Mena 
Greek) suggests that he is probably an 

56. tenui censu, answers the ques- 
tion cuius fortunae (1. 54). notum, 
known to (with an infinitive), with a 
reputation for. 

57. loco, on occasion, at the proper 
time. Properare is the opposite of 
cessare — ^i.e., hustle and loaf, work and 
play; qimerere, the opposite of uti — 
i.e., get and spend, make money and 
enjoy it. The thought of this line 
is: All work and no play makes Jack 
a dull hoy. 

58. parvis, humhle. lare, home. 

59. hidiSf shows, festivals, post... 
negotia, at the close of the day. 

60. I'd like to talk to him myself. 
libet, supply mihi. 

61. sane (colloquial), a particle; 
indeed, to be sure. 

61-62. credere, mirari, these are 
narrative infinitives, equivalent to 
credidit and miratus est, respectively. 

62. Quid multa, to make a long story 
short. Benigne, see 1. 16 above. 

63. Neget, the subjunctive in an 
indignant question: so he would refuse 
my invitation, eh? 

64. neglegit, scorns, mane, next 
morning. On his way to the Forum, 
Philippus runs across Mena. 

65. vendentem, auctioning, scruta, 
junk, second-hand articles, tunicate 
popello, a contemptuous diminutive 
of populus; the tunic-clad populace. 
Only gentlemen wore the toga. 

66. occupat, surprises, prior, eti- 
quette forbade the aristocrat to 
notice the plebeian, unless respect- 
fully saluted, ille, Mena was now 
properly awed and apologized pro- 

67. excusare, a narrative infinitive, 
offers as excuse, vincla, duties. 

68. mane, that morning, domum, 
to the house of Philippus. Mena 
should have been present at the great 
man's early-morning lev^e. 

69. providisset, prior vidisset. Had 
he seen Mena first, Philippus would 
have spoken first — so he now alleges! 

71. rem, your wealth. 

72. Ut, when, ventum est, it was 
come — ^i.e., they came, dicenda [et] 

Notes: Horace (Epistles) 


tacenda, Mena — the subject of the 
rest of the sentence — talks too much. 

73. dimittitur, he is drunk, of 
course. Hie, he (Mena). 

74. visus [est], was seen, piscis ad 
hamum, like a fish to the hook — a 
favorite metaphor to describe poor 
dependents who are caught by the 
glamor of the rich. 

75. mane, mornings, certus, regu- 
lar. Every nobleman always had a 
crowd of hangers-on (the slang term 
for whom is umbrae) at his banquet 
table — e.g., professional jesters, im- 
pecimious wits, parasites, and so 
forth; Mena was the prize funmaker. 

76. Philippus invites Mena to his 
country estate when the Latin 
Festival is proclaimed: indictis [feriis] 

77. Impositus mannis, riding he- 
hind fast ponies. 

78. laudare, Mena, city-bom and 
-bred, had never seen the country be- 

80-81. Maecenas too had given 
Horace a farm, but in a very different 
way and with very different motives. 

80. septem. sestertia. f seven thousand 
sesterces. Sestertia is neuter plural, 
mutua, on loan. 

81. promittit, governed by dum. 
uti, ut. 

82. te, the reader. 

83. nitido, a dandy — at least of the 
Bowery type. 

84. sulcos . . . mera, talks of nothing 
hut furrows and vineyards. 

85. immoritur studiis, works him- 
self to death, amore habendi, avari- 

86-87. ubi, there are four when- 
clauses introducing the main clause 
(U. 88-89). 

88. 6stmmSthy his losses. When he 
finally came to himself, his old force 
of character and independence reas- 
serted themselves. 

90. scabrum, grimy — ^very different 
from when Philippus first saw him 
(11. 50-51). 

91-92. mihi videris esse nimis durus. 

94. quod, wherefore. 

96. dimissa, neuter plural nomi- 
native, what he has given up, the sub- 
ject of praestent. petitis, neuter 
plural dative. 

97. mature, promptly. 

98. verum est, it is right. 

A Letter to Albius TibuUus 

1. iudex, critic. 

2. Pedana, near Rome — where Ti- 
bullus had a modest villa. 

3. Scribere . . . , [dicam te] scribere 
[id] quod {a work which)? 

4. silvas inter, inter silvas. rep- 
tare, stroll. 

5. curantem, meditating. 

6. Non, never, pectore, soul. 

7. divitias, rich gifts. The figura- 
tive or spiritual idea predominates. 

8. voveat, u)ish. nutricula, fond 

9. qnipossitywho already can. The 
implication is of course that Tibul- 
lus is such a person. 

10. gratia, good will. 

11. mtmdus victus, noun, a neat 
(i.e., modest) living, non deficiente 
crumina, v^t wholly without cash. 
Crumina means wallet. 

12. In this vale of tears. 

13. diluxisse supremtun, has 
davmed your last — as good a Christian 
as an Epicurean precept, but for very 
different reasons ! 

14. grata superveniet hora, pleas- 
ure will he added. 

15-16. The reference to himself is 
of course jesting and ironical. 

15. bene curata cute, with sleek 


Notes: Horace (Last Odes) 



The Carmen Saeculare, or Anniver- 
sary Ode 

Meter: Sapphic. 

2. decus, vocative. 

5. quo, supply tempore. Sibyllini 
versus, the Sibylline Books. 

7. The gods of Rome. 

10-11. alius . . . , there was a 
"scientific" theory that the sun 
"perished" every night after it sank 
and was re-created every morning. 

12. visere, videre. 

13-20. This is a prayer to Jimo 
Lucina to increase the population. 

13-14. aperire, depends on lenis 
(which agrees with Ilithyj^i); used 
as a synonym of eniti (or edere), bring 
forth. The direct object of aperire is 
maturos partus, full-time births {not 
premature abortions). 

14. tuere, imperative. 

17. producas, rear, patrum, the 
Senate. This refers to the laws spon- 
sored by Augustus for encouraging 
marriage and the rearing of families. 

19-20. prolis . . . , lege marita {mari- 
tal), jeraci {productive of) prolis. 

21-22. This is a corollary to the 
prayer: in order that there may be 
citizens enough to celebrate the next 
anniversary (one hundred and ten 
years, or one saeculum, hence), ut 
orbis referat cantus ludosque. 

24. frequentis, agrees with ludos] 
attended, celebrated — for three days 
and nights. 

25. veraces cecinisse, veraces in 

26-27. quod, the subject of dictum 
est, the object of servet (subjunctive of 
wish), rerum terminus, outcome of 

27. peractis, dative, past, supply 

30. spicesif wheaten. 

33. condito telo, an ablative abso- 
lute, putting away thy arrows — ^in their 

35. bicomis, crescent. 

37-52. This is a prayer to all the 
gods. The main clause begins with 
di (1. 45). 

37. opus, handiwork. 

37-38. Iliae turmae tenuere, a 
Trojan band settled. 

39. pars, in apposition with turmae; 
a chosen few. laris, homes. 

42. patriae, Troy. 

43. libertum iter, a way of freedom. 

44. more than they left behind — for 
Rome was greater than Troy. 

47. rem, wealth. 

49-51. clarus . . . sanguis, the 
Romans — i.e., qune (accusative) Ro- 
mani vos venerantur {beseech you for), 
impetrent! Sanguis means offspring. 

51, prior bellante, superior to the 

52. lenis, merciful. 

53-54. Medus (Orientals in general) 
timet [Romanorum] manus Albanasqu^ 
securis (the lictors' axes). 

55. responsa petimt, in terror they 
consult their oracles. 

61. Augur, an epithet of Apollo — 
prophet of the Delphic Oracle. 

62. acceptus, beloved of. 
63-64. Apollo the Healer. 

65. videt aequus, looks with favor. 

66. -que . . . -que, both . . . and. 
68. proroget, prolong'. 

69-70. quaeque Diana, and Diana 

70. quindecimviri, these were a 

71. curet, heed. 

73. Haec lovem sentire, this is in- 
direct discourse, depends on spem. 
lovem is the subject. 

74-75. It was a Greek literary 
tradition to say I (instead of we), the 
chorus. y. 

75. Phoebi et Dianae, with laudes. 

Notes: Horace (Last Odes) 


Supplementary Note 

In the last four stanzas of an Ode to 
Apollo (IV, 6) — wirtten in the 
Sapphic meter — , Horace has given 
us a picture of himself training the 
chorus to sing the Carmen Saeculare. 

Spiritumi Phoebus mihi, Phoebus 

carminis nomenque dedit poetae, 
Virginum primae^ puerique^ claris 

patribus orti, 

Deliae tutela^ deae (fugacTs 
lyncas et cervos cohibentis^ arcu) : 
Lesbium^ servate pedem meique^ 
pollicis ictum, 

rite^ "Latonae puerum"' canentes, 
rite "crescentem face^" Noctilucam/^ 

prosperami2 f rugum celeremque^^ 
volvere mensis." 

Nupta^^ iam dices i^^ "Ego dis^^ ami- 

(saeculo festas referente luces") 
reddidi^^ carmen docilis^^ modorum 

vatis Horati." 

Selections From Book IV 

[a] Spring and Death 

Meter: second Archilochian coup- 
let — a dactylic hexameter, alternating 
with ^ w V ^ w V X. 

3. vices, a cognate accusative, with 
mutat, makes her changes. 

3-4. The freshets are receding. 

1 Spiritimi, inspiration. 

2 primae, vocative, noblest. The girls and boys who sang in this chorus 
were naturally selected from the most aristocratic Roman families. 

3 pueri, vocative. 

^ tutela, vocative, an abstract noun used as collective; proteges, wards. 

^ cohibentis, agrees with deae; checking, halting — by shooting them. 

^ Lesbiimi . . . pedem, keep the Sapphic rhythm. 

^ mei . . . ictum, mark the heat of my thumb— \i it refers to beating time; mark 
the stroke of my thumb — if it refers, either literally or figuratively, to striking a 
chord on the lyre. 

8 rite, with canentes; duly, in seemly fashion, decorously. (So also in the 
next line.) 

® Quoted matter in this stanza suggests the subject of the Carmen Saeculare. 
puerum, son. 

^°face (from /ax), lumine. 

11 Noctilucam, Lunam, Dianam. 

12 prosperam f rugum, productive of crops. 

13 celerem . , . mensis, lit., swift to roll the headlong months — i.e., marking the 
swift succession of the lunar months. 

" Nupta iam, soon as a bride. Individually and collectively, Horace ad- 
dresses the girls in the singular; he seems to have been fonder of them than of 
his choirboys! 

15 dices, boast. 

16 dis amicum, agrees with carmen; devoted to the gods, sacred. 
1' luces, dies. 

18 reddidi, rendered, performed. 

1^ docilis modorum, lit., teachable of the measures; equivalent to docta modos, 
having! been taught the measures. 


Notes: Horace (Last Odes) 

5. Gratia cum geminis sororibus, 
the three Graces. 

6. chores, dancing hands — of 

7. Immortalia, immortoZitoiem. an- 
nus, the season. 

8. hora, the fleeting hour, rapit, 
snatches {from us). 

9. ver, accusative. proterit, 
tramples on. 

10. interitura simul, destined to 
perish as soon as. 

13. celeres lunae, the passing 
months. Danma caelestia, seasonal 
damage, nature's losses. The flowers, 
for instance, die every winter, but are 
born again every spring. 

17-18. adiciant . . . , add tomorrow's 
hours to today's total — i.e., grant us 
one more day of life. 

19-20. Therefore enjoy life; don't 
accumulate wealth, which only your 
heir will enjoy, amico animo, to your 
precious self. 

21. Minos, one of the three judges 
of the souls of the dead. 

23. Torquate, the friend to whom 
Horace addressed this ode. 

25-26. Even a goddess cannot re- 
store her devotee to life. 

27-28. Theseus failed in the at- 
tempt to recover his friend Pirithous 
from Hades (cf . the story of Orpheus 
and Eurydice). 

[b] The Poet's Ambition Achieved 

Meter: second Asclepiadean. 

1. Melpomene, strictly speaking, 
the tragic Muse — but the names of 
the nine Muses were used indis- 
criminately by Latin writers of the 

2. nascentem, at his hirth. lu- 
mine, eye. videris, a future perfect 
active, look upon — a good omen. 

3-6. ilium . . . victorem, he will not 

be a renowned athlete — either as a 
boxer or a charioteer. 

3. Isthmius, at the Isthmian games 
— one of the four famous Greek 
athletic festivals. 

4. pugilem, as a boxer. 
6-9. He will be no warrior. 

6. res bellica, a military career. 

6-7. Deliis omatum foliis, laurel- 
crowned — a triumphator proudly rid- 
ing up the Capitoline Hill in his 

8. quod, because. This explains 
why he is celebrating a triumph, 
regum, enemy kings. 

9. Capitolio, dative — i.e., to the 
spectators on the Capitol. 

10-11. These were typical haunts 
of the Muses. 

10. quae aquae, what waters, the 
waters which. Tibur, the town. 

11. The dense foliage of the groves — 
i.e., the dim awe-inspiring forests. 

12. ^gent noh'ilem, facient clarum, 
supply him as the object. 

13-14. Romae suboles, Romani. 
principis urbium, capital of the world. 

14-15. inter . . . , inter amabills 
choros vatum. 

17-18. O Fieri, quae temperas duU 
cem strepitum testudinis aureae. 

18. Fieri, Pierian maid (the Muse). 
19-20. O donatura, thou who 

canst give. 

19. quoque, even. 

20. libeat, supply tibi. cycni so- 
nimi, the (legendary) song of the 
djn'ng swan — supposed to be the most 
beautiful sound in nature. 

21. muneris tui, of thy giving (or 
bounty) . 

23. Romanae fidicen lyrae, poeta 
lyricus Romanus. Fidicen is nomina- 

24. spiro, / h^ve inspiration, I am 

Notes: Tibullus (Elegies) 





Delia Holds Me Fast 

1. Messalla, a famous general and 
statesman. He was consul in 31 
B.C., and patron of Tibullus and 
iriany other poets. 

2. domus, supply tua. praeferat 
ezuvias, display the trophies, be 
decked with the spoils. 

3. puellae, a genitive singular. 

4. ianitor, like a doorkeeper. The 
serenading lover showed his devotion 
by persisting until he received some 
sign of response — even if he had to 
wait all night ! duras, cmel — because 
they are not opened to him. This is 
an example of the pathetic fallacy. 

6. laudari, worldly fame — for mili- 
tary prowess, wealth, or what not. 
6. quaeso, supply ut. 

8. teneam, supply te as the object. 

9. arstiro lecto, the funeral pyre. 

10. tristibus et, et tristihus. 

14. lumina, oculos. 

15. laede, wound, grieve — by doing 
violence to herself in grief over the 
death of Tibullus. 

15-16. parce . . . , i.e., don't tear 
your hair and scratch your cheeks. 

18. iam, all too soon, caput, the 
accusative of specification, with cw^ 

19. subrepet, supply nobis, iners 
aetas, senectua. 


If I Should Die 

1. Having started from Rome in 
the retinue of Messalla, Tibullus fell 
ill and was left behind in the island 
of Corcyra (between Italy and Greece) 
— the legendary home of Homer's 

2. O utinam, equivalent to a par- 
enthetical / pray, modifies memores. 
ipse cohorsque, you and your retinue. 
mei, of me, with memores. 

4. Mors nigra, vocative. 

5. mater, supply est. 

6. legat, gather, ossa perusta, my 
ashes — after cremation. 

9. non usquam, this is exaggerated 
— but more effective than non est hic. 
mitteret, let go. 

10. antef adverb, beforehand. deoS| 
oracles — as to his safe return. 

12. lapis, gravestone, notls, noun, 
letters, characters. 

14. terra [sequitur] sequiturque mart. 

17-24. This is a description of 
lovers' heaven. 

19. non culta, in-culta. seges, 

21. series, band. 

22. proelia, the pretty warfare of 

23. Illic est omnis amans, cui Mors 
venit. Amans is a noxm. 

24. mjrrtea, sacred to Venus, serta, 

25. scelerata sedes, Hades. 

28. poturi, supply Tantali. 

29. proles, a collective noun, the 
forty-nine daughters of Danaus who 
murdered their husbands on their 
wedding night. One alone was truiB 
(cf. In Praise of Hypermnestra, p. 

30. in cava dolia portat, carry {and 
pour) into a sieve. 

32. et optavit mihi diutumas mili- 

34. anus, Delia's mother. 

35. Haec,s/ie. hxcema. ^ lamp. The 
scene is in the evening. 

36. deducat stamina colu, draw 
threads from the distaff. 

I Love But Thee 

1. te praeter, propter te. 

6. opus, supply mihi. procul ...» 


Notes: Propertius (Elegies) 

/ eschew vulgar pride — i.e., I will not 
boast of my sweetheart. 

9. Tu, supply es. vel, even. 

10. solis, solitary. 

13. ntunina, [per] numina. 

15. pignora cede, I give up my 
surety — i.e., I lose my hold on you. 

16. proderat . . . , your doubt was a 
help to me — i.e., I should have kept 
you guessing. 

17. fortis, confident. 

18. misero, supply mihi. 

19. tuus, i.e., your slave. 

20. He cannot escape ignominy. 
22. haec, she. notat, brands. 



A Mart3rr to Love 

1. nostrae, meae. 

2. Tibure, Cjnithia (his mistress) 
had a villa in Tibur. missa, omissa. 

3. obductis, dative, enveloping. 
mene, me-ne. 

4. audaces manus, of highway rob- 

5. mandata, noun, nostro timore, 
an ablative of cause. Nostro is 
equivalent to meo. 

6. flatus, Cynthia's, supply erit. 

7. pos[i]tus (colloquial), shelved. 

8. mansuetas, gentle. 

9. "All the world loves a lover" 
(cf. 1. 4). 

10. Sciron, the name of a legendary 
Greek brigand, sic, if in love. 

11. licet, though (cf . Horace, Integer 
Vitae, p. 94). 

12. adeo (with barbarus), tarn. 

13. salebras, rwis. 

14. percutit, brandishes. 

15. saeva . . . rabies, this is 
metonymy, equivalent to saevi rabi- 
dique canes, morsus, noun, accusa- 
tive plural. 

16. generi, tribe, class — of lovers. 
17-18. quis improbus, what crimi- 

17. spargatur, be stained, parvo 
sanguine amantis, pining lovers are 
pale and bloodless. Parvo means 

18. Exclusis, to those debarred — i.e., 
those who are pining. 

19. ivmeTSij death, casus, noun, ac- 
cusative plural. 

20. vel sit emenda, would even be 
worth paying for (or worth while) . 

21-22. The subject is Cynthia. 

23. faciant, grant, locet, bury, en- 

24. tramite, passing. 

26. devia terra, out-of-the-way spot. 
coma, foliage. 

27. humer, verb. 

Remedium Amoris 

3. mihi, by me. quicumque, lit., 
howsoever — i.e., whereby. 

4. possit, the subject is amor, ex 
omni, after (i.e., in spite of) every at- 
tempt, deus, Cupid. 

5. mutatis terris, an ablative abso- 
lute, with conditional force: if I 
change my abode. 

6. quantum [procul] Cynthia [erit] 
oculis (from my eyes), tarn procul amor 
ibit animo (from my heart). 

8. ducite vices, take turns. 

9. extremo malo, to the end of the 
mast — sails full spread! 

12. tuque, puella (qunliscumque mi- 
hi), vale. Qualiscumque is purposely 
indefinite; had he spoken his mind, he 
probably would have said saeva (or 
improba) mihi. 

13. Illic, in Athens — where he will 
do everything possible to divert his 

14. hortis, lit., by thy gardens. The 
school of Epicurus was dubbed the 
Garden. Of course all the Greeks 

Notes: Propertius (Elegies) 


mentioned here had lived long before 
Propertius, and their works had be- 
come classics. 

15. persequar aut, aut perseguar. 
studium linguae, oratory, anna, in 
apposition with studium lijiguae, used 

16. librorum tuos sales, equivalent 
to sales {wit) librorum tuorum. 

17. profundi, maris. 

18. sinu, in my breast. 

19. seu moriar, or if I die, equiva- 
lent to a noun-phrase: aut mors mea. 
Like spatia and intervalla, this is one 
of the things that will assuage his 
wounded heart, fractus, smitten. 


The Melancholy Lover Wanders in 
the Woods 

I. Supply sunt. 

4. He expresses melancholy doubts : 
perhaps not even dumb stones can 
keep his secret. 

5. repetam, trace, fastus, a fourth 
declension noim, scorn. 

7. Qui, I who. 

8. notam, stigma. 

9. mutant, estrange you from me. 

10. An, perhaps, nova, with puel~ 
la. tristitiae, coldness. 

II. Sic ... , expresses a wish, may 
you return — implying denial of the 
slander (1. 10). levis, lightheartedly. 
ut, as surely as. 

12. limine, supply over or across. 

13. aspera, bitter experiences. 

14. venerit, shall have become. 

15. furor, cause of wrath. 

16. lumina, eyes, turpia, marred. 

17. This is the second slander or 
false charge — ^viz., that he does not 
display the proper pallor of a pining 
lover, and is therefore not as deeply in 
love as he claims to be. 

19. Vos, vos amores, pledges of love. 
habet, bears — carved in its bark 

20. fagus, beech, arnica dec, dear 
to Pan. 

23. This is the third charge — viz., 
that Propertius is offended at Cyn- 
thia's infideUty. Of course she has 
been unfaithful, but he is too meek to 
be offended. 

24. quae, things which. 

26. arguto, loud-mouthed, shrill. 

27. Pro quo, in exchange for this 
(his subserviency), fontes, supply 
dantur mihi. 

31-32. He is still her devoted slave. 


The Winged Boy 

3. sensu, wisdom. 

4. levibus curis, wayward loves. 
6. htmiano corde, in our fancy. 

8. nostra, favorable to us. 

9. hamatis, barbed. 

10. Gnosia, Cretan. 

11. ante . . . , qumiiam ferity ante- 

17. meduUis, supply meis. 

18. ali6, elsewhere. 

19. satius, it would be better. 

20. vapulat, is lashed. 

23. qiu, supply canat. 

24. ut, how. 

To His Inconstant Mistress 

1. Risus, noun, laughingstock, posi- 
tis , . . , whenever I attended a 
banquet or other social gathering. 

3. tibi, this is addressed to Cynthia. 

4. ungue [tu^] morso, this is a sign 
of vexation, querere fidem, you will 
lament {the loss of) my love (or devo- 

6. ab insidiis, adverbial, treacher- 

8. bene conveniens iugum, lit., the 
well-matched span — i.e., the course of 
true love. 


Notes: Ovid (Amores) 

9-14. Curses and maledictions on 

9. celatis gravis annis, lit., heavy 
with concealed years — i.e., heavy with 
years which you have tried to conceal. 

10. formae, beauty. 

11. stirpe, head, poll. 

12. speculo . . . , an ablative abso- 
lute, expresses time, rugas . . . tibi, 
taunting you with wrinkles. 

13. exclusa inque vicem, et exclusa 
invicem. fastus, noun, accusative 

14. facta, having become, agrees 
with anus. 

15. dirasi curses. 

"Thou, Poor Excommunicate" 

1. licebit, for all I care, it will be 
all right. 

2. qui . . . , this is proverbial for 
wasted labor. 

3. munera, gifts and graces, uno 
lecto, on one couch (her bier). 

4. extremi funeris, of final death, of 
death at last. 

5. transibit, praeteribit. 

6. docta puella, a poetic maid — i.e., 
a poet's sweetheart. 




I Live for Love Alone 

1. Si quis deus mihi dicat "vive, 
posito amoreJ^ posito amore, sine 

2. malum, noun, bane. 

3. Ut, as, introduces a simile. 
3-4. subitus ventus {wind) rapit in 

alta {mare) carinam {navem) tangen- 
tem partus. Partus is accusative 
plural, the object of tangentem. In 

prose the singular, portum, would be 
used; but had Ovid written carinam 
tangentem portum, the reader would 
have had difficulty deciding which 
noun tangentem agreed with. 

6. purpureus, rosy, blushing. 

7. Fige, i.e., with Cupid's arrow. 

8. Hie, in me. tibi sunt vires, is 
your prowess (or arena), facit, tends, 

10. illis, to them (the arrows). The 
arrows know him better than they do 
their own quiver! 

11. Infelix, supply est. 

12. sustinet, endures, is willing. 
praemia, boon. 

13. Stulte, vocative, the same per- 
son who was called infelix (1. 11). 

14. The reference is to death. As 
Catullus says to Lesbia: 

Vivamus, mea Lesbia, atque ame- 

nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux, 
nox est perpetua una dormienda. 

15. mod6, equivalent to even if. 

16. f eram, / shall feel. 

17. modd . . . modd, sive . . . sive, 
whether . . . or. 

18. earn, verb. 

19. per te est, is your fault. 
privigne, stepson. 

20. vitricus, stepfather. According 
to Greek mythology, Venus became 
the paramour of Mars after the birth 
of Cupid; to ascribe the uncertainty 
of war to the latter's influence on his 
quasi stepfather, is humorous enough! 

21. alls, an ablative of comparison. 

Corinna's Slave 

3. Sim licet, dimi, let me be, 
provided, urat, supply Venus. 

4. Cythera, accusative plural. 

5. quoque, modifies miti — i.e., gentle 
as well as beautiful. 

Notes: Ovid (Fasti) 


6. fuliinis, doomed to he. 

7. This explains why she is not 
gentle. Dat, produces, animos, 
boldness, violenta, nominative. 

9. fastus, nominative plural, pride. 
English uses the singular. 

10. nee ilia videt se, nisi prius 
compositam (adorned). Ovid humor- 
ously implies that this is imfair; she 
ought to look at herself sometimes 
under unfavorable conditions! 

11. niminm regni, a partitive geni- 

14. aptari, married. 

15-16. nymphe Calypso, capta Or- 
more mortalis [hominis], traditur de- 
tinuisse virum recusantem (Odysseus). 
Nymphe is a Greek nominative. 

17. quaslibet, quas tihi libet. 

18. te deceat, though it befit you. 
iura dedisse, to lord it, to be a queen, to 
enjoy "regnum in omnia" (1. 11). 

19. crimen, cause for reproach. 
quo remote, (one) at whose removal. 

21-26. In return for her affection 
Ovid will give her not wealth (census), 
but fame! 

21. pro, in place of. 

22. multae, many women, nomen, 

23. Novi, verb, aliquam, quan- 
dam. circumferat, is spreading the 

24. ut fiat, really to become my 

26. causas, incentive, inspiration. 




1. Apriles Idus, accusative. 

3. dignissima, with atria sua. 

4. atria, hall (not temple). 

AprU 14 

1. Luce, day. 

2. occasu, west. 

3. Sit . . . fuerit, he that as it may. 
Caesar, Augustus. 

3-4. hac grandine, in spite of storm. 

April 15 

1. Veneris Idus, the Ides of Venus 
(i.e., April — a month peculiarly sacred 
to Venus). Idus is nominative, in 
apposition with lux (day). 

2. forda, . . . , offer sacrifice with a 
pregnant cow. As forda was an ar- 
chaic word, Ovid defines it (1. 3) — 
deriving it (wrongly) from fero! 

4. putant, people think. 

5. Nunc, at this season. 

6. plensiey teeming. 

7. Pars cadit, aliae cadunt. arce 
lovis, on the Capitoline. ter denas, 
there were thirty curiae, or wards, in 
the city of Rome. 

9. visceribus, from the wombs of 
the cows. 

11. quae . . . Virgo, the eldest Vestal 

12. ut ille cinis (of the cremated 
calves) luce Palis (on the Festival of 
Pales — ^April 21) populos purget. 

13. Rege Numa, an ablative abso- 

14. colentis, noun, agricolae. ir- 
rita erant, were in vain. 

15-16. modd . . . ntmc, at one time 
. . . at another. 

17. Ceres, the grain. 

18. obsesso solo, in the choked soil. 
Solo is a noun. 

19. ante diem partus, abortions. 

21. securi, axe. 

22. Maenalio deo. Pan — but Ovid 
really means Faunus, with whom Pan 
was identified. Maenalio is equiva- 
lent to Arcadian. 


Notes: Ovid (Tristia) 

23. animo quieto, to one asleep — a 
dream oracle. 
26. veWviSf fleece. 

28. fagineai beechen. 

29. Usus abest Veneris, Numa re- 
mained continent, fas [est] . . . , he 
ate no meat. 

32. per sua verba, loith the proper 

33. redimita papavere, crowned 
with poppy — an allegorical figure of 

35. adest, i.e., appears to Numa in 
a dream, pede dure, hoof. 

36. a dextro tore, on the right side of 
(Numa's) couch. 

37. Tellus, Earth — as a divinity. 

38. animas, living creatures. 

39. quies, sleep, visa, noun, the 

41. Numa's wife was the wood 
nymph Egeria. errantem, (him) 

42. posceris exta, Ut., you are asked 
for the vitals — ^i.e., the vitals are de- 
manded of you. 

45. Cytherea, Venus — protectress 
of Augustus. The miracle performed 
by Venus was just the opposite of 
that by Joshua, who bade the sun 
stand still and prolonged the day. 

46. admissos (technical), driven 
fast, galloping, praecipitavit, hurried, 
spurred, equos, i.e., of the Sun. 

47. Having won the Battle of 
Mutina on the 14th, Augustus re- 
ceived the title of Imperator (for the 
first time) on the (.6th. 


His Last Night in Rome 

1. subit, enters my mind, imago, 
mental picture, memory. 

2. qua, on which, when. 

5. lux, day — the date set for his 
departure. Caesar, Augustus. 

6. In prose: extremis finibus Italiae. 

7. spatitmi, time, mens, state of 
mind, satis apta, adequate for. 

8. mora, he had known for weeks 
that he must go, but had been too 
stunned to act. 

11. Ut, when. 

13. extremum, for the last time. 

14. unus et alter, one or two. 

15. tenebat, supply me. 

17. Nata, my daughter — ^wife of the 
Proconsul of Africa. Libycis, Afri- 

20. forma, likeness, non taciti, all 
Roman funerals were noisy affairs. 

24. facies, appearance. 

25. Not in Ovid's house, but in the 
city at large — it was past midnight. 

27. Hanc, the moon, ad hanc, by 
her light. 

28. iuncta lari, close (or adjacent) to 
my house, frustra, because the prox- 
imity of the temples and the gods 
had not saved Ovid. 

29-31. numina, templa, di, these 
are all vocative. 
30. iam nimiquam, never again. 

33. praecipitata, hastening. 

34. Parrhasis Arctos (Greek), nom- 
inative, the Arcadian Bear (the Big 
Dipper), axe, zenith. The Dipper 
was setting and morning was coming. 

36. ultima nox fugae, the eve of my 

38. vide, consider. 

46. pignora, family. 

48. Utraque, each — viz., going to 
Scythia and leaving Rome, mora, 
cause for delay. 

51. quos-que, and those whom. 

52. Thesea, adjective, like the 
friendship of Theseus for Pirithous. 

54. Every additional hour is pure 

58. suo, the antecedent is pars — 
i.e., a part taken from its whole. 

61. abeuntis, supply of me. 

Notes: Ovid (Tristia) 


66. pietas, devotion, loyalty; supply 
(to you), mihi . . . , will he my 
Caesar! — i.e., the power that compels 
me to go into exile. 

67. temptabat, i.e., to prevent his 
going without her. 

68. dedit manus, yielded, surrend- 
ered, victas, agrees with manus, but 
equivalent to: (she), convinced by 

69. sive . , , f or rather it was a case 
of being buried alive. 

70. immissis, let grow — a sign of 
mourning, hirta, hirsuta. 

71. tenebris obortis, in a swoon. 

72. sem-animis, semi-animis, nom- 


A Letter to His Wife 

1. Si casu miraris, quare haec inea 

3. orbis, world. 

4. salutiS) recovery. 

6. Quem, interrogative. 

6. Sauromatae, Getae, these are 
the names of Teutonic tribes — among 
whom Ovid lived at Tomi. 

7. caelum, climate, 

10. Apollinea, medical, malum, 

12. tempera fallat, beguile the time. 

14. subit, comes to my mind. 
affecto, afflicted. 

16. plus parte, more than half. 

19. istic, in Rome. 

23. caput hoc, me. 

25. Ecquid, nonne. audieris, sup- 
ply me mortuum. 

27, in has partes, in my direction. 

30. His death will not be their first 

34. gaude tot malis morte medfinitis. 

35. quod, lit., a thing which, ex- 
tenua . . . , extenua (verb) mala 
(noun), ferendo (ablative of means) 

forti corde (ablative of manner). 

36. non rude, not inexperienced. 

37. Ossa, supply mea. re-feran- 
tur, i.e., back to Rome. 

39. amomi, balsam. 

40. solo, soil. 

41. versus, accusative plural, verses. 
oculo properante, as he hurries by. 

42. caede, cut, carve, notis, noun, 

43. lusor, poet. 

44. His genius, as author of the Art 
of Love, brought about his exile and 

45. trans-is, praeter-is. ne sit 
grave, begrudge not. quisquis amasti, 
si umquxim ama[vi\sti. He hopes to 
appeal especially to lovers. 

47. libelli, nominative plural, my 
humble works. 

48. diutuma magis, diutumiora. 

49. nocuere, supply mihi. 

60. tempora, life, immortality, 

61. Tu, his wife, exstincto, mor- 
tu^, supply mihi. 

63. corpus, supply meum. 

64. officium . . . , [mea] favilla 
[tuum] offixium. 

66. libet, velim. 

68. quod, that which (i.e., health — 
the literal meaning of the salutation) 


The Hardships and Dangers of Life 
Amid Savages in the Frozen North 

I. Si&em^ti, departed. This usually 
means dead, but here it suggests 
buried alive. 

4. quam non-digna, how unworthy. 
6. Nix, snow. iactam, supply 

6. indurat, the object is it (the 

7. ubi, when, delicuit, has melted. 

8. bima, lit., two years old. 

9. commoti, call it angry. Aquilo, 
Boreas, North Wind. 

10. aequet, razes. 

II. arcent, the subject is they (the 
inhabitants), mala, accursed, sutis 


Notes: Ovid (Tristia) 

bracis, stitched trousers. It must be 
remembered that the Roman toga 
had no seams. 

12. patent, are visible (or exposed). 

13. moti, when shaken, glacie pen- 
dente, icicles. 

14. inducto barba gelu, harba gelu 
vestifa (covered) . 

15. formam testae, the shape of the 
jar. The jar had to be broken off. 

16. nee . . . frusta, not draughts, but 
chunks, of wine. 

17. ut, how. concrescant, congeal. 
19. latices, aquas. Hister, the 


24. plaustra, carts. 

25. falsi, of falsehood. 

26. testis, in this case Ovid is the 
eyewitness, ratam habere fidem, 
Ht., to have absolute credibility. 

28. lubrica testa, slippery shell, ice. 

30. unda summa, surface of the sea. 

31. aequato, an ablative absolute, 
leveled. No sooner was the Danube 
frozen, than Tomi became the prey of 
raiding bands of barbarians from 
beyond the river — ^that being the 
nominal boundary of the Roman 

35. alii, some (of the inhabitants). 
nullis, supply hominibus. 

37. stridentia, creaking. 

39. Pars, alii, others, capta, taken 

41. hamatis, barbed. 

42. volucri ferro, arrowhead, tine- 
tile virus, dip-poison — poison in 
which the arrows are dipped, iu-est, 
is on. 

43. nequeunt, the subject is they 
(the enemy or raiders). 

45. trepidant, the subject is they 
(the inhabitants). 

46. Discouraged by the raids, they 
don't even attempt to till the soil. 

47. Aspieeres, indefinite, you, one. 
49. cum, although. 


Poetry— His Only Solaee 

2. populi . . . , was popular (at 

Rome) . 

3. iuvenis, when I was youvg. 
fugi, shunned. 

4. movimus, movi. lusmra manu, 
in sport. 

5. senior, when I am old. 

6. -que, connects 11. 5 and 6. 
eanitiem, white hairs. 

7. Nam . . . , nam ubi (when) 
dedit. tumultus, of a raid. 

10. lustrat, rides around. 

11. ut, as, introduces a simile. 
ovili, in the fold. 

12. saXB-y farmlands. 

13. portarum saepe, in the enclosure 
of the gates. Saepe is a noun. 

14. habet, (the foe) gets (him). 

15. captus, as a captive. 

16. perit, is killed by. virus, neu- 
ter accusative, the object of habente. 

17. soUicitae, harassed. 

19. niuneros, i.e., poetry, sacra, 
rites, mysteries — of poetry. 

19-20. reverti sustinet, encourages 
me to return. 

20. hospitsif friendly. 

29. Cum, when, vice mutata, vice 
versaj on the contrary. 

30. subit, it occurs to me, governs 
the indirect question: quo me casus 

31. manus, my hand, the subject of 

34. cum venia, vrith forbearance. 
facito, fac [ut], see to it, be sure that. 


Death Will Soon Bring Release 

1. quantimi, so far as. 

2. tempora parva, English uses the 
singular, accedunt malis, lit., is 
added to my woes — i.e., remains to me 
in my woe. 

Notes: Ovid (Epistulae Ex Ponto) 


3. sunt, supply iriihi. 

5. scd [mva] mens est magis aegra 
corporc [meo] acgro. 

7. Urbis facies, the beauty (or 
glory) of Rome, mea cura, my all in 
all, in apposition with sodalcs. 

8. qua, than whom. 

9. bracata, trousered, -pantalooned. 

10. movent, disturb. 


An Apology for His Mournful 

1. hunc libellum, Book V of the 
Tristia. nostri studiose, lit., swp- 
porter of me — i.e., my friend in need. 

6. scripto, noun, an ablative abso- 

7. modus, limit, end — i.e., when 
will you have done with? 

8. Idem qui, the same as. huius, 
my present. 

10. casus, with tuos. 

11. gemitus, nominative plural. 

16. si tibi obest [id] quod mihi sic 

The Bitterness of a Poet's Exile 

2. latus, adjective. Tomi was sit- 
uated at the mouth of the Danube. 

3. ut, as. 

4. vel me tacente, even if I say 

5. simmia, noun. 

6. erit, supply miser. 

7. Turba, horde, folk. 

9-11. Sive . . . sive, if ... or if. 

9. quo, than which. 

10. toto orbe, in the whole world. 

12. quam lupi, than wolves. Lupi 
is nominative plural. 

13. aequtun, justice, right. 

17. Tomi was originally a Greek 

18. haec barbara facta, agrees with 
vestigia (1. 17). The Tomitans spoke 
Greek with a Getan accent. 

20. e medio reddere, utter. 

22. more, tongue. 

25. et, even. 

28. praemia ista, oblivia (1. 27). 



Friendship's Bond — A Reminder of 
Happier Days 

3. Ecquid, an interrogative par- 
ticle, need not be translated. 

4. an [tua] languida cura deserit 
partis suas. languida cura, affection 
grown faint, partis, role. 

6. iam non, no longer. 

8. vultus, features. 

9. Seria, supply verba, mihi col- 
lata [esse], exchanged by me. 

10. nee pauca, et multa. 
11-12. Nos, accusative. 

12. iunctis locis, in adjoining seats. 

14. Achilles and Antilochus. 

15. securae, calm. 

16. excidere pectore, be forgotten. 


A Difficult Letter of Condolence 

1. nobis, mihi. 

2. nomen, fame, habuisse, equiv- 
alent to a future perfect infinitive. 
The whole clause might equally well 
be expressed as a condition: si tu 
nomen non habueris meo carmine. To 
be mentioned in a poet's verses makes 
one immortal! 

3. caelesti cuspide facta, when the 
blow fell from heaven, when the light- 
ning struck me — i.e., the imperial 
edict of banishment, Gallio was one 
of the few friends who comforted and 
consoled Ovid before his departure 
from Rome — as described in the 
Tristia (cf. His Last Night in Rome, 
p. 124, 11. 9-14). 


Notes: Phaedrus (Fables) 

5. laesus, having been hurt (or 
stricken). TSiptif exiled, amici, Ovid. 

6. nihil quod quererere, nothing 
that you could complain of. 

8. non habuere, did not regard it. 

9. luctus, genitive, depends on 
nuntia. epistula, supply tua. 

11. neque, a correlative, with -que 
(1. 12). As this is awkward in Eng- 
lish, however, ignore the correlation: 
[ego], stultior, non ausim solari [te], 
prudentem {a philosopher). 

12. nota, trite. 

13-14. suspicor dolorem tuum iam 
pridem finitum esse ipsa mora (lapse 
of time), si non ratione (rule of 

17. solacia dicere (the sending of 
condolences) est officium certi temporis. 

18. aeger, the mourner. 

19. dies, time. 

21. Addequodflit.f add the fact that 
— but the whole phrase is equivalent 
to moreover. 


2. pieces, the subject of carere. 

3. Taedia fieri vobis, taedere vos, 
depends on reor (1. 4). 

4. quid . . . , edidicisse (from 
edisco) quid petam. 

5. quid, i.e., what message, nostis, 

6. The seal is not broken from the 

8. contra . . . earn, go against the 
current. Earn is a verb. 

9. He had long hoped that friends 
in Rome would secure his release from 
exile; now he is disillusioned! 

10. talia peccandi, lit., of sinning 
such sins. 

12. experiens parum, not persistent 

13. This is a favorite remark of 

14. tibi, a dative of agent, sar- 
cina, burden. 

16. Parca, Fate. This is generally 
plural, as there were three Fates, 
qu^ • • • » continue (in the path) in 
which she has begun (to go). 

19. It is an easier death to drown at 

20. Ovid had been doing this 
(figuratively) for almost ten years. 



The Frog's Complaint 

1. Vicini furis, a thief who lived 
next door to Aesop. 

5. Convicio, noisy protest. 

7. imus, supply Sol. lacus, accu- 
sative plural, agrees with omnes. 

8. miseras, supply ranas. sede, 


The Wolf and the Dog 

2. per-pasto, fully fed, well-fed. 
macie confectus, macer, macens, ma- 
ciatus, emaciatus. 

3. salutatimi, supine, expresses pur- 
pose, invicem, inter se, each other. 

4. ut, when, restiterunt (from 
resisto), intransitive, imde, . . . , the 
wolf speaks first, sic nites, are you 
so sleek? 

7. est, English uses the future 
more often, condicio, terms. 

8. si potes domino praestare (per- 
form) par (idem) officium. 

9. Quod, supply officium. ut sis, 
. . . , a substantive clause, defines the 
duties of the watchdog: to be watcher, 

10. et, English would put this at 
the beginning of the line. 

16. cani, a dative of possession. 
This is the same as a genitive of 
possession, when parts of the body are 
mentioned — i.e., collum canis. 

Notes: Seneca (Epistles to Lucilius) 


19. luce, die. 

20. qui visum est, qudUbet. 

21. Adfertur, supply mihi. This 
is a general remark and has nothing 
to do with 11. 18-20. 

22. frusta, accusative, familia, a 
collective noun, servants. Hence the 
verb is plural. 

23. pulmentarium, quod, the titbits 
which — implying that it is a rich 
household, where even the servants 
waste good food. 

25. est animus, supply tibi — i.e., 
if you desire. 

26. Fruere, supply eis (those 
things) . 

27. TegasLTe^eventobeking! utnon 
sim, on condition that I be not, if I 
cannot be. mihi, a dative of reference. 
Taken with liber, it is emphatic : free 

The Frog and the Ox 

3. tacta, agrees with the subject 
(rana) . 

5. latior, maior. 

6. intendit, stretched. 

8. quis, uter, which of the two. 




Man's Spiritual Nature Is Divine 

2. ire . . . mentem, strive for wis- 

3. quam optare, to pray for which. 

4. Non sunt elevandae, non opus 
est elevare — in prayer, exorandus 
[est], bribed, cajoled. 

5. aedituus, keeper of a temple, 
sacristan, simulacri, idol. 

5-6. quasi . . . possimus, as super- 

stitious people would think, magis, 

more clearly. 

6. a te, Latin says near from, 
English near to. 

10-11. supra forttmam exstirgere, 

despise (or defy )fickle Fortune, 

12. erecta, upright. 

13. quis , . . , this is taken from the 
Aeneid (VIII, 352), [guamquam] in- 
certum est quis deus [sit], [tamen] 
habitat deus (or habitat deus, [sed] in- 
certum est). Vergil, of course, used 
this line in an entirely different con- 
text. Cf. St. Paul's use of the altar 
to the unknown god in his sermon on 
Mars' hill {Acts, 17, 22 ff.). 

14. tibi occurrerit, shall have m£t 
your eye. The subject is lu^us (1. 
15), modified hyfrequens arboribus . . . 
and by submovens conspectum caeli 
umbra ramorum. 

15. egressis, grown beyond, exceed- 

16. submovens, removing, conceal- 

16-17. proceritas, height. 

17. secretum, mysteriousness. ad- 
miratio mnbrae, your awe of the 
somber shades. 

18. niuninis, a presiding deity. 

19. si quis specus . . . suspenderit, 
if some cave holds up a mountain {on 
its arch). 

23. subita . . . eruptio, the sudden 
bursting forth of a river — i.e., the place 
where a river bursts suddenly from a 
hidden source. 

24. stagna, lakes. 

25. altitude, depth. 

26. videris, future perfect active, 
in-territmn, non territum. 

28. ex aequo decs, ex aequo [loco] 
deos [videntem]. 

29. subibit te, enter your mind. 
29-31. maior est quam ut credi 

possit, too great to be believed. 

30. corpusculo, rnere body. 

31. Vis, force, power, istd, thither 
(upon him), descendit, perfect. 


Notes: Seneca (Epistles to Lucilius) 

32. moderatum, controlled, omnia 
transeuntem, passing hy (or scorning) 
all things — i.e., superior to all external 
influences, master of itself. 

33-34. caelestis potentia, vis di- 
vina (1. 31). 

35. maiore . , , ^in its greater part, 
(the soul) is in the place (illic) whence 
it came (in heaven — ^with God). 

38. in hoc, for this purpose. 
38-39. ut . . . nossemus, that we 

may have a closer knowledge of the 
divine. Divina (divine things, divin- 
ity, the divine) is neuter plural, the 
object of nossemus. 

39. conversatur, associates with. 
origini, God. 

40. nostris, neuter plural, our do- 
ings, human actioris (or life). 

41. interest, shares in. 

42. Quis . . . , what is this (true or 
perfect) soul? Qui . . . , answers the 
previous question, one which. 

43. aliena, alien things, qualities 
that are not his. 

44. 60, than the man. 

46-48. Aliter leo . . . alitor incultus, 
lit., in one way a gilded lion is sent 
(into the arena), in another way a wild 
one. English would say: a wild lion 
is very different from one trained and 
exhibited in a pageant. Seneca con- 
trasts the superficial adornment of a 
brow-beaten, gilded lion with the 
wild beauty of a genuine, untamed 
creature; everyone prefers the latter. 

46. iuba, mane. 

48. spiritus, a genitive of descrip- 
tion, hie, the latter. 

49. speciosus ex horrido, lit., beau- 
tiful as a result of his terribleness. 

49-50. cuius hie decor est, whose 
glory it is. 

51. bracteato, gilded. 

52. Vitem, grapevine. 

53. palmites, its shoots. 

53-54. pondere eorum quae tulit, 
by the weight of those (fruits) which it 

54. deducit, bends. 

55. cui, from which. 

57. ipsius, his very mun. 

58. multum serit, he owns vast 
estates, multum fenerat, he has large 

61. perfecta, perfected, made per- 

67. salutem, salvation. 

67-68. populus . . . , [quas] populus 
(society, their fellow men) impellit 
[ad vitia], 


The Vanity of Human Prayers and 

1. Queror . . . , this is playful 
exaggeration, litigo, / pick a quarrel 
(with you). 

2. Etiamnunc, still — ^when you are 
old enough to know better. 

3. mali, a partitive genitive. 

4. inimica, harmful. 

5. quo cessere felicius, the more 
they have come true — ^harmful to us in 
fact as well as in theory. 

5-6. admiror, wonder. 

7. exsecrationes, this is a paradox: 
what our parents intend as benedic- 
tions are really curses — because they 
are prayers for worldly prosperity, 
which is more ruinous to the soul 
than anything else. 

8. vocem gratuitam, impartial ut- 
terance — ^prayers that are not mercen- 
ary and have no string attached to 
them. Not that prayers in one's own 
behalf are always free from worldly 
desires; but may the gods heed such 
as are! 

10. alere nos, lit., feed ourselves — 
i.e., why are we always praying about 
food? Seneca would not regard our 
Thanksgiving Day as very spiritual! 
sationibus, plantings, crops. 

11. magnarum lurbiimi campos, the 
lands belonging (and adjacent) to great 
cities. Seneca is describing the typi- 
cal city state. 

Notes: Seneca (Epistles to Lucilius) 


12. metet, shall reap. Seneca is 
thinking of the thousands of peasants 
and serfs who toil to feed the city 
population, unius mensae instru- 
mentum, i.e., one meal — of an epicure! 
Instrumentum is the object; navigia 
(1. 13), the subject of svbvehent (i.e., 
praebebunt) . 

16. alvum, belly. 

19. Quantulum, hoto little is it?, how 
small an amount? datur, satisfies. 

20. ilia dimittitur, she (Nature) is 
satisfied with, fames ventris, real 

20-21. nobis magno constat, costs 
us dear. 

21. ambitio, i.e., the desire to show 
off, social climbing. 

21-22. ventri oboedientes, who are 
slaves to their bellies (cf. p. 5, 1. 3). 

22. loco numeremus, we should 
(or ought to) number among (or regard 

23. quosdam, the most extreme, 
the worst. 

24. Vivit, really lives. 

25. latitant et torpent, like pigs in 
a sty. conditivo, tomb. 

26. licet, you may (or might) as well. 
in limine ipso, over their front doors — 
as though it were over the entrance to 
their family vault. 

27. antecesserunt, they have antici- 


On Being Reconciled with Death 

1-2. In youth it is natural to plan 
for the future and desire a long life in 
which to carry out one's plans, but in 
old age one should face the prospect of 
death and square one's account with 
life. Like a traveler, one should be 
ready to depart (1. 9). 

2. senex, as an old man, in old age. 

3. In hoc mitmi eunt dies, my days 
are directed toward this one goal — viz., 
imponere ... (1. 4). 

5. Id ago, / strive, dies . . . , 
that (each) day be like a whole life — 
orderly and complete in itself, leaving 
no loose ends and unfinished jobs. 

6. tamquam ultimum rapio, clutch 
at it as though it were my last (day) — 
hke a drowning man at a straw. 

7. vel, even. 

8. cimi maxime scribentem, just 
when writing, in the act of writing. 

10. hoc, this existence, pendeo, 

13-14. necesse repugnant!, an (un- 
pleasant) necessity to him who balks (or 

14. volenti, to one who accepts it 
cheerfully. This is good psychology! 

15. imperia, orders, commands — 
from his masters or superiors. 

18. res, circumstance. 

19. nostri, the genitive of nos. 
The adjective nostram might have 
been used equally well. 

20. instructa, provided, furnished. 
Nature provides us with all we really 
need in life. 

21. in instrumenta avidi, greedy for 
the things (or furnishings) of life. 

24. planus, this is metaphorical: / 
have had my fill. 


Worldly Occupations Are No Bar to 
the Spiritual Life 

2. videri volimt, wish it to seem thaty 
make out that. 

3. augent, supply occupationes. 

4. meus, my own master. 

5. Rebus, business, worldly occupa- 
tions, commodo, verb. 

5-6. consector causas, hunt up ex- 

6. constiti, / am placed, loco, 

7. tracto, exercise. 

8. mihi [me] abduco, withdraw from 

9. tempus, occasion. 

334 Notes: Seneca (Ludus de Morte Claudii) 

10. ex officio nata civili, arising 
from my official position. 

10-11. cum Optimo quoque, with 
the best men (that ever lived) — i.e., in 
imagination I associate with the great 
minds of all time. 

12. Demetrium, a contemporary 
Cynic philosopher — ^with whom Sen- 
eca associated. 

13. relictis conchyliatis, deserting 
those clothed in purple. Conchylium 
is equivalent to murex. 

14. seminudo, Cynics wore even 
less than Ghandi. 

19. aliis habenda permiserit, left 
their possession to others. 


Man*s Greatest Peril Is His 
Fellow Man 

1. circumspicis, are you on the 
lookout forfy are you apprehensive off 

3. dico, / mean, ruinam, the col- 
lapse of a building — as in an earth- 
quake (not ruin in the abstract; cf. 
1. 10). 

4. non insidiantur, but do not plot 
our downfall — as do men. 

5. observant, lie in wait for. 

6. naufragium facere, getting ship- 
wrecked, used as a verbal noun, a 
subject of sunt, vehiculo everti, get- 
ting spilled, used as a verbal noun, the 
second subject of sunt. 

7. te expedi, prepare yourself. 

13. qui occurrunt, who cross your 

13-14. effigies, accusative plural. 

19-20. ita cogita . . . ut cogites, lit., 
so think . . . that you think — i.e., in 
thinking . . . think. The whole sen- 
tence may be rendered : in thinking of 
what you have to fear from your fellow 
man, think what man's duty is (to his 
fellow man) — i.e., what your duty is to 
your fellow man. This is but another 
way of stating the golden rule. 

20-21. Altenmi . . . laedas, this al- 

so is the golden rule — ^in a form sug- 
gestive of the Chinese version: Do not 
do unto others, as you would not have 
them do unto you. Alterum intuere ne 
laedaris, intuere ne ab altera laedaris, 
beware of being harmed by your fellow 
man. alterum ne laedas, this is a 
negative purpose clause, in order 
that you may not harm your fellow 

21. laeteris, the subjunctive of 

22. inoYeaiiSf sympathize udth. me- 
mineris, memento, praestare, give. 

26. arietant inter se, collide. 

27. iactare, display, vaunt. 

28. [Philosophia], insolenter et con- 
tumaciter tractata (practised), fuit 
causa periculi multis [hominibus]. 

29. detrahat, exprobret, the sub- 
ject of these verbs is philosophia. 

31. Licet, one may. 




1. This was on October 13, in the 
first year of Nero's reign. 

3. Nihil . . . dabitur, lit., nothing 
shall be granted (or no concession shall 
be made) either to enmity or to good will 
— i.e., I. shall speak without fear or 

6. ex quo [tempore], ever since. 
suum diem obiit, died. 

7. The proverb obviously means: 
Kings, like fools, are born — not made. 
Being both a king and a fool, Claudius 
was an excellent example, libuerit, 
supply mihi.. 

8. huccaxriy mouth. 

9. iuratores, witnesses. 

10. quaerito, imperative. Drusil- 
1am, she was deified by Caligula. One 
Livius Geminius is said to have testi- 

Notes: Seneco. (Ludus de Morte Claudii) 335 

fied that he saw her going to heaven, 
and received a fat fee for his testi- 

12. non passibus aequis, this is 
taken from the Aeneid (II, 724) and 
applies humorously to Claudius' un- 
steady gait, velit nolit, willy-nilly. 

14. qua [via], the bodies of both 
Augustus and Tiberius were carried 
along the Appian Way to Rome — for 
they both died in Southern Italy. 

15. soli [tibi]y he'll tell you on the 

19. quod viderit, the object of 
indicaturum. verbis conceptis (id- 
iom), solemnly. 

21. carta clara, certa et clara. ad- 
fero, / state, I report. 

21-22. ita . . . habeam, so may I ever 
find him unharmed! — a variation of 
such asseverations as so help me God! 


1-6. These lines are mock-heroic 
hexameters — a parody on epic verse. 

1-2. Days were getting shorter, 
nights longer. 

3. Cynthia, the moon, suum reg- 
num, the night. 

4. honores, /rmfs. 

5. vise senescere Baccho, lit., the 
vines being seen to wither. 

6. vindemitor, vintager. 

7. magis intellegi, I will he more 
readily understood. 

9. horologia, clocks. 

10. conveniet, lit., there will he 
agreement, sextam [horam], noon. 

10-11. Nimis rustice, too boorishly 
(said), too commonplace, not elegant 
enough. The hour of the day ought 
to be described poetically, as was the 
season of the year (11. 1-6). 

11-12. sunt . . . inquietent, the 
position of the negative is awkward 
for purposes of translation. English 
would say: No poets are content 
(nowadays) to describe (merely) sun- 

rise and sunset — so that they even rant 
about midday. 

14. With his car^ Phoebus had al- 
ready halved his course (or divided it 
in the middle) — it was just past noon. 

16. He was on the down curve, 
tramite, path. 


1. animam agere, give up the ghost. 
exitum, Claudius' soul could not find 
the way out of his body — Claudius 
wa3 long in dying. 

2. qui . . . , this is a relative clause 
of cause, ingenio eius, Claudius was 
of a mercurial temperament; moreover 
he was more or less devoted to sundry 
arts patronized by Mercury — namely, 
pettifogging, gambling, literature, and 
perhaps even thievery. 

3. unam, Clotho (see 1. 14). 

5. cesset, have relief. 

6. cum anima luctatur, echoes 
animam agere (1. 1); struggle with the 
ghost, be more dead than alive. 

7. mathematicos, astrologers. 

9. efferunt, bury — i.e., predict his 

11. nemo . . . , (according to his 
mother) he was a monstrosity (or 
non-entity) . 

13. This line is taken from Vergil's 
Georgics (IV, 90). sine, let. aula, 
court, palace. 

14-15. pusillum ad-icere, give him 
a little more. 

16. civitate, Claudius bestowed 
citizenship, and even senatorial rank, 
very freely on aliens. 

17. placet, it is good policy. 

18. in semen, to perpetuate the 
various races (Greeks, Gauls, Span- 
iards, Britons, etc.) — Claudius would 
otherwise make Romans of them all. 

19. Aperit . . . , this is a parody on 
destiny: Clotho resembles a prim little 
old lady with her sewing basket, 
capsulam, box. fusos, spindles. 


336 Notes: Seneca (Ludus de Morte Claudii) 

20. Augurinus, an unknown char- 
acter — but the humor of the situation 
indicates that he must have been 
some kind of a moron, to match 
Claudius. Baba, probably a nursery- 
figure — ^like Simple Simon. The 
name itself is comic. 

22. ilium, Claudius. 

25. interim, for a while. 


1. turpi . . , fuse, winding the 
thread on his unsightly spindle. 

2. tempera, span. 

3. Lachesis, another of the three 
Fates. Here begins a eulogy of Nero, 
which occupies the remainder of the 

3-4. Lachesis decks herself in festal 
array for the glorious task of allotting 
Nero his span of life. 

5. subtemina, strands, yarn. 

6. moderanda, to he guided, ducta, 
being drawn out. 

6-7. colorem novum, golden (see 1. 

7. pensa, a poetic plural, her handi- 

8. A miracle takes place: Nero's 
life thread turns to gold! pretioso 
metallo, into gold. 

9. The golden thread symbolizes 
the golden age of Nero. 

10. modus, surcease, limit, They 
are so pleased that they cannot stop. 

13. contorto fuse, from the whirling 

14. The subject here is vague; 
strict logic would require: the years 
allotted to Nero. Tithonus, Nestor, 
these are equivalent to our Methu- 

15-20. Apollo joins the party, and 
so beguiles the Fates that they forget 
what they are doing and are quite 
ready to spin out Nero's life in- 

16. plectra movet, i.e., plays his 

lyre, pensa ministrat, Apollo slyly 
takes a hand at the spinning! 

17. Detinet [Parcas], he distracts 
their attention — so that they lose 
track of how much they have spun. 

18. nimis, beyond measure. 

19. nevere (from neo), neverunt, 
spun, manus, nominative plural, 
the subject of nevere. fata, destiny , 
the normal span of human life. 

20. laudatum opus, the praise- 
worthy work — of the Fates. 

22-23. Nero considered himself 
handsome (see 1. 33), and his greatest 
folie was the ambition to be an opera 

23. lassis, to his weary {subjects), to 
a weary world. 

24. silentia , , , ,he will end the in- 
activity of the law — ^i.e., he will revive 
the reign of law (set aside by Claudius) . 
Silentia is a poetic plural. 

25-30. Qualis . . . talis, as the 
Morning Star . . . , so comes Caesar 

29. primos . . . axes, primo die (at 
sunrise) a carcere (stall) condtat (he 
starts) axes (currum). Axes is im- 

31-32. Flagrat . . . vultus, his face 
shines with a gentle (or beneficent) 
radiance — the evidence of godhood ! 

34. plena, generous. 

35. de suo, of her own accord — she 
did not need Apollo's urging. 

36. To send him off with joy and 
gladness. This is quoted from The 
Cresphmites, a lost play of Euripides'; 
here it implies good riddance! 

37. ^nimam ebuUiit, coughed up his 
soul — or some such flippant phrase. 
ex eo, supply tempore. 

39-40. Ultima . . . , ultima vox 
(utterance) eius, [qvxie] inter homines 
audita est, [fuit] haec (as follows) . 

40-41. cimi . . . , after he had broki n 

41. ilia parte, his rear end. 

Notes: Seneca (Ludus de Morte Claudii) 337 

41-42. concacavi me, / have made 
a mess. 

42. Quod an fecerit, whether he had 
done so. 


2. excidant, he forgotten, quae, 
[ea] quae. 

3. memoriae, dative, depends on 

4-5. fides . . . erit, lit., your credence 
will depend on {the reliability of) the 
iL'itness (Livius Geminius; cf. [1], 
1. 10). Seneca wittily implies: Of 
course you will believe every word; the 
story is well vouched for. 

6. Claudius arrives in heaven and 
wants to join the gods, bene, quite. 

7-8. nescioquid . . . trahere, Clau- 
dius' three physical defects are refer- 
red to: (1) a speech impediment (which 
made him hard to understand) ; (2) a 
trembling, or palsy, of the head; 
and (3) a limp (see [1], 1. 12). 

7. The messenger said to Jupiter: 
Ille minatur nescioquid — for he could 
not make out Claudius' exact words. 

8. quaesisse se, this is indirect 
discourse for ego quxiesivi (the mes- 
senger's words). 

9. respondisse, he (Claudius) an- 

13-14. quorum hominum, cuius na- 

15. ut qui etiam, although he. 
non, with timuerit. omnia, any. 
This is vulgar Latin usage. 

16. Ut, when. 

17. marinis beluis, the strange 
roarings of sea monsters have always 
intrigued men's imagination. 

20. quod, as. 

22. Who and whence art thou? This 
line is taken from the Odyssey (1, 170), 
and is a stock formula in Homer for 
greeting strangers. 

23. illic, in heaven, philologos 
homines, scholars, literary fellows. 

24. Historiis, Claudius was the 

author of various historical works — in 
both Greek and Latin. 

25. Caesarem se esse, this explains 
the following Greek line from the 
Odyssey (IX, 39) : from Troy the wind 
bore me to Ciconia — i.e., I'm a succes- 
sor of Aeneas, I'm lord of Rome. 
Of course Ciconia was not, and had no 
connection with, Rome; but it is 
perhaps the nearest one can come to 
suggesting Rome in quoting Homer! 
The real effectiveness of the quotation 
lies in the innuendo of 1. 26 — also from 
the Odyssey (IX, 40) — , which Seneca 
professes to add as an aside or a 
footnote: There I destroyed the city 
and slew its inhabitants. Claudius 
had ruined Rome and slain countless 

1. imposuerat, equivalent to im- 
posuisset (contrary to fact) — but the 
indicative suggests a closer approach 
to fact: he hod very nearly imposed 
upon Hercules, minime vafro (from 
vafer), un^crafty — i.e., gullible. 

2. fano, the shrine of the goddess 
Fever was on the Palatine. 

2-3. ceteros . . . reliquerat, there 
is nothing impossible about the gods 
being in their Roman temples and in 
heaven simultaneously. Or — if we 
must adhere to "fact" — the gods 
might leave their temples and get to 
heaven before Claudius. 

3. Iste, Claudius. 

4. tibi, Hercules. 

5. Lugduni, a town in Gaul, the 
modern Lyon. Marci, an unknown 
character. This is obviously a jest. 
Quod, as. 

6. \2i^i&em.y milestone. Vienna, the 
modern French Vienne (not the 
Austrian Vienna). 

7. Galium, under Brennus the 
Gauls captured and burned Rome in 
390 B.C. 

8. lecv^iOi guarantee. 

338 Notes: Seneca (Ludus de Morte Claudii) 

9. LicinuSi a notorious favorite of 

10. calcasti, tramped, mulio, mule 
driver, perpetuarius, lit., perpetital — 
i.e., perhaps veteran. 

11. milia, miles. Xanthum, the 
river on which Troy was situated — 
whence Claudius claimed to have 
come (see [5], 1. 26). 

12. Rhodanum, the river Rhone — 
on which Lyon is situated. 

13. quanto potest, quam maximo. 

14. duel, a technical term, to he 
executed, gestu, gesture. 

15. solutae, ^6&?/. 

16. illi collum praecidi, her head 
to he cut off. 

17. curabat, paid attention to. 


2. mures . . . , a proverbial phrase, 
suggests in this instance that there is 
no "soft snap" in the next world. 
Citius, citd. In colloquial Latin the 
force of the comparative was weak- 
ened, mihi, supply die. 

3. a-logias, non-sense. 

3-4. tragicus fit, becomes a trage- 
dian — i.e., he strikes a tragic pose 
and declaims (in six-foot iambics). 
The following lines are a parody on 
tragic style. 

5. Exprome, declare, sede qua, 
qua sede, quo loco, introduces an in- 
direct question, genitus, natus. cluas 
(poetic), dicaris. 

6. stipite (from stipes) j cluby also 
clava (1. 7) — Hercules' well-known 
weapon, which he brandishes here at 

8. sonas, are you trying to say? 

9. mobile caput, your shaky head. 
10-17. When (performing my tenth 

labor) I was seeking the cattle of 
Geryon, which I drove from Spain to 
Argos, I saw the hill (on which 
Lugdunum was situated) at the junc- 

tion of the Rhone and the Saone (or 

10-11. regna longinqua, in Spain. 
tergemini regis, Geryon. 

12. Inachiam urbem, Argos — the 
city of the descendents of Inachus. 

13. iugum, ridge, hill. 

14. ortu obverse, at his rising oppo- 

16-17. The Saone (or Arar) mean- 
ders sluggishly 

18. spiritus tui altrix, patria. 

19. mentis suae, self-confident. 

20. /jLCOpov irKriyijv, fool's blow. 
This is a parody on Oeov irXrjyri, god's 
hlow — i.e., an unexpected turn of fate. 

22. idem gratiae, eandem gratiam. 

22-23. galltun . . . , a cock is master 
on his own dunghill — with a pun on 
the proper name Gallus, for Claudius 
was a Gaul. The same pun is used 
today in the cock as symbol of France. 

26. notorem, someone to vouch for 
me, guarantor. 

27-28. tibi ius dicebam, held court 
for you — as though it were an honor! 
Claudius was inordinately addicted to 
judicial activities. 

29. quantimi . . . contulerim, what a 
lot of woes I collected there. 

31. valde, very, licet, although. 
31-32. cloacas Augeae, Hercules* 

sixth labor was the cleaning of the 
Augean stables (here called sewers). 

32. multo . . . , / drained off (or 
cleaned out)much more filth (than you 
ever did). Others did not share 
Claudius' pride in these feats of muck- 

33. volo, this sentence is incom- 
plete, there being a gap in all extant 
manuscripts. It is clear that in the 
remainder of his speech Claudius per- 
suaded Hercules to back him ; Hercu- 
les must then have addressed the gods 
formally in Claudius' favor, for in the 
next chapter someone on the other 
side violently attacks Hercules and 
refutes Claudius' claims. 

Notes: Seneca (Ludus de Morte Claudii) 339 


1, fecisti, this is addressed to 
Hercules. There may have been 
some unparliamentary horseplay 
when Hercules "crashed the gate." 

1-2. nihil clausi, a partitive geni- 
tive, scarcely different from nihil 
clausum. istum, Claudius. 

3-4. 'ETTi/coupetos dtbs . . . 7rap€x«, 
he cannot he an Epicurean god, care- 
free himself and causing no care to 
others. The Epicureans believed that 
the gods held aloof from this world; 
calamities to them were not "acts of 
God." Claudius had of course in- 
flicted innumerable calamities on the 
Roman world. 

5. rotimdus . . . , the Stoics tried to 
define God as a spirit, having no 
human shape or form; they sometimes 
even tried to apply abstract mathe- 
matical conceptions to God, calling 
him the perfect sphere or what not. 
Varro made fun of this, saying that if 
God was a sphere, he must lack both 
head and foreskin. The jest has 
more point when one remembers that 
certain vulgar idols (e.g., Herms) 
had only head and foreskin. 

6. illo, him (Claudius). 

7. mehercules, it is amusing that 
the speaker should use this byword 
to Hercules' face. 

8. hoc beneficium, the petition 
under discussion — that Claudius be 
admitted to Olympus as a god. 
cuius, the antecedent is Saturno. 
His month was December, in which 
the Saturnalia — forerunner of our 
Christmas holidays — were celebrated. 

8-9. Saturnalicius princeps, as a 
"Lord of Misrule." 

9. tulisset, got, obtained, nedum, 
much less. 

10. quantum . . . fuit, as far as in 
him lay, to the best of his ability. This 
is said sarcastically, incesti, Juno 
was sister and wife to Jupiter. It is 

alleged, therefore, that to accuse 
anyone of incest is a reflection on 
Jupiter's private life. The absurd- 
ity of this entire passage is that the 
speaker defends incest, in his zeal to 
condemn every act of Claudius. 

13-14. Quare . . . , "Aha!" you 
say, "why (I ask you) should he marry 
his sister?" 

14. stude, think. 

15. Athenis . . . , in Athens the 
marriage of half-brother and half- 
sister was legal; in Egypt even full 
brother and sister might marry. 

15-16. Quia . . . , this is also a sup- 
posed argument in support of Clau- 
dius. From the indignant answer: 
Hie nobis curva corrigetf, it is clear 
that his supporters credited Claudius 
with being a strict moral censor. 
But how the proverb Mice lick sacred 
meal applies, scholars are not agreed. 
It seems reasonable, however, to 
make it mean Mice are bold, mice — and 
men — break all laws; consequently 
Claudius had to be strict. And the 
natural retort would be: What right 
has he to set himself up as a censor? 
Shall he presume to straighten our 
crooked ways? — all of which is an 
argumentum ad hominem. 

17. nescit, not to know what he is 
doing in his own bedchamber is 
sufficient evidence of stupidity, but 
the particular folic alluded to is not 

18. caeli . . . , this is a quotation 
from The Iphigenia, a lost tragedy of 
Ennius.' plagas, regions, parum 
est, is it not enough? 

20. fjLoipod, fool. This is again 
substituted for deov (god), in the 
familiar formula: to enjoy God's favor 
— lit., a propitious god (cf. [7], 1. 20). 


1. privatis, private citizens, an 
ablative absolute, with morantibus. 

340 Notes: Seneca (Ludus de Morte Claudii) 

Claudius is the intruder Jupiter has 
in mind, curiam, senate house. The 
proceedings in heaven, as here de- 
scribed, are a travesty on the Roman 

2. morantibus, being present. The 
verb adesse could not be used because 
it has no present participle; but a 
temporal clause might have been: 
dum privati intra curiam adsunt. non 
licere, it is unlawful, it is against the 
rules — for senators. 

3. P. C, Patres Conscripti. 

4. mapalia (slang), a mess. 

5. Hie, Claudius. 

6. Illo, Claudius. 

7-8. in kalendas . . . consul, this is 
aimed at the brief terms — blasting 
sometimes only a month or two — to 
which emperors appointed- consuls. 
In here means for. 

8. quantumvis vafer, quite clever. 

9. ana . . . , e< prorsum et retrorsum. 
The reference is to Janus, who was 
represented in his statues as two- 
faced, in Fore, the sanctuary of 
Janus was in the Forum. 

10. notarius, stenographer, perse- 
qui, keep up with. 

11. aliis verbis ponam, misquote, 

13. honorem, deification. 

14. famam, cf. honorem (1. 13). 
mimum fecisti, you (Hercules) have 
made a farce of. 

15. censeo, / move, ne quis, that 
no one. It would have sounded too 
personal merely to have moved that 
Claudius be debarred. 

16-17. qui . . . , this is a parody on 
the redundancy of epic phrases : of those 
who eat the fruit of the earth or of those 
whom the lifegiving earth nourishes — 
i.e., mortals! 

19. Larvis, to the spooks (or evil 
spirits), mtmere, gladiatorial show. 
auctoratos, recruits. 

20. vapulare, he flogged, placet, it 
is decreed. 

21-22. Diespiter . . . filius, a primi- 
tive Italic divinity, otherwise un- 
known — or perhaps a parody on some 
old divinity. Although his worship 
had probably ceased and his true 
function been forgotten, his shrine 
continued to be used for some sort of 
minor official business connected 
with the naturalization of aliens; 
hence the god is called a petty money^ 
changer {nummulariolus) and a vendor 
of insignificant citizenships (civitatv^ 
las) — ^which is ludicrously regarded 
as being in Claudius' line. 

24. Touching the ear was a legal 
gesture for smnmoning witnesses (cf. 
Horace's satire, The Bore; p. 58, 
1. 77). 

25. Divus, the actual title of 
divinity — already bestowed by the 
earthly senate — is amusingly used by 
Claudius' supporter in the heavenly 

26. contingat, is related to. 

28. e re publica, to the public 

29. f erventia . . . , io gulp down hot 
turnips. This is a quotation from 
some unknown poet; it alludes to the 
gluttony of Claudius and the rusticity 
of Romulus — ^for though deified, the 
latter was supposed to have clung to 
his former simple habits of living. 

30-31. ita . . . qui, just as well as 
(anyone) who. 

33. sententiam, the vote. 

33-37. Here Hercules gives as good 
an exhibition of logrolling as could be 
found in any senate — even today. 

35. mihi invidere, begrudge me (this 
favor), mea res agitur, my interests 
are at stake. 

36. invicem, in my turn. 

36-37. manus . . . lavat, this is a 
proverb, equivalent to: One good turn 
deserves another. 

Notes: Seneca (Ludus de Morte Claudii) 341 


1-2. sententiae . . . dicendae, for 

declaring his opinion in turn. This is 
Augustus' maiden speech in the 
heavenly senate. 

6. In hoc, for this? 

7. peperi, from pario. 

8. operibus, public buildings. 

9. omnia, any. infra [meam]^ un- 
equal to my. 

9-10. Confugiendum, / must have 

11. illam sententiam, the famous 
phrase, pudet, supply me. Hie, 

12. muscam, ^?/. 

14. vacat, supply mihi (agreeing 
with intuenti). 

17. tyyi.ov yovv KvrjijLTjSf the knee is 
nearer than the shin. This is a prov- 
erb, and sums up the above-men- 
tioned situation — namely, that do- 
mestic ills affected him more than 
public calamities. The allusion to 
Augustus' sister is based upon some 
unknown event. 

18. nomine, Claudius assumed the 
title Augustus. 

20-21. Silanum . . . , cf . [8], 11. 10- 

20. videris, lit., you shall have seen 
— i.e., you will surely see (or decide). 
an, supply Silanum occiderit. 

21. in causa mala, in a had cause — 
i.e., unjustly, in tua [causa], in a 
cause that affects you also (cf. [8], 1. 13). 

22. quos quasque, whom (male) and 
whom (female) . English can only ex- 
press both genders by the antecedent: 
of those {men and women) whom. 

23. cognosceres, judged, reached a 

23-24. antequam audires, this was 
such a notorious caprice of Claudius' 
that Seneca makes it the basis of his 
final punishment in Hell (cf. [14]). 


1-3. uni . . . , lit., only Vulcan's 
leg he broke — i.e., the only harm he 
ever did (during his entire reign) was 
to break Vulcan's leg. He is said to 
have grabbed Vulcan by the foot and 
hurled him from heaven (cf . Iliad, I, 
591); Vulcan fell all day and landed 
on the island of Lemnos. 

4. suspendit, Jupiter punished Ju- 
no by hanging her up by the hands 
(cf. Iliad, XV, 18). 

8. C. Caesarem, Caligula — Clau- 
dius' predecessor, persequi, both 
meanings of the verb are implied: to 
persecute — for Claudius rescinded all 
Caligula's acts; and to imitate — ^for 
Claudius outdid Caligula in crime. 

9. et genenmi, his sonr-in-law as 
well {as his father-in-law). Gaius, 
Caligula, vetuit, because no one but 
the emperor should be called magnus. 

10. tulit, abstulit. 

12. assarios (from as), two-for-a- 
cent, worthless. 

14. dis iratis, an ablative absolute, 
under an unlucky star. Ad summam, 
in short. 

15. cit6 dicat, he could not because 
he stuttered. 

17. Summa rei, finally. 

18. clarius, too frankly — Augustus 
was very discreet. 

25-26. placet . . . animadverti, / 
move that he be severely punished. 

26-27. nee . . . dari, this is sug- 
gested as a penalty — ^viz., that he be 
assigned to perpetual duty on the 

27. exportari, to be banished. 

27-28. eaelo . . . , this is a parody 
on a Roman decree of banishment — 
which would be from Italy within 
thirty days, from Rome within three. 

29. Pedibus . , . est, there was a 
division in favor of this motion. 

29-30. Cyllenius, Mercury — con- 
ductor of the dead (see Horace, On 

342 Notes: Seneca (Ludus de Morte Claudii) 

the Death of Quintilius; p. 78, 11. 

30. coUo obtorto, hy the nape of the 

31. This is from Catullus, The 
Sparrmvis Dead, 1. 12 (Vol. I., p. 241). 


2. sibi velit, means. 

3. erat, the subject is funus — 
which is modified by the adjective 
famosissimuniy and the phrase im- 
pensd curd (lavish). 

5. aenatorum, players on brass 

8. ex animo, sincerely. Generally 
they shed sham tears to impress the 
jury; now they are out of a job. 

8-9. lurisconsulti, the legal experts — 
real lawyers, whom Claudius had 
deprived of all power. 

9-10. animam habentes, breathing. 

10. tum maxima, only just. 

13. Sattimalia ...» this is a 
proverb: your picnic (or cinch) 
wouldn't last forever. 

14-15. Ingenti . . , , in a huge 
(ingenti) big {/xeyAXc^) chorus — humor- 
ously redundant. 

15. nenia, a dirge. 

18. pulchre cordatus, of noble 

19. quo, than whom. 

21-27. Like Achilles, Claudius was 
fleet of foot and a mighty warrior! 

23. fundere, rout, levibus, ap- 
propriate to the chase. 

24. Persida, accusative singular, 
Persia, the Persians, certa, firm. 

25. tendere nenmm, stretch the 
bowstring, qui, whereby, in order that. 
praecipites, (fleeing) headlong. 

26. The wound made by an arrow 
is small but deep. 

27. picta, gaily decked — either their 
clothing or their armor. 

28-33. Claudius won an overseas 
empire (a gross exaggeration, of 

course): Ille iussit Britannos et 
Brigantas dare colla catenis. 

28-29. ultra . . . ponti, an adjectival 
phrase, modifies Britannos. 

32-33. ipsum . . . , [iussit] Oceanum 
tremere (dread) nova iura (dominion). 

33. seciu-is, genitive singular fem- 
inine, axe — i.e., fasces. 

34-41. Claudius was a rare judge! 

34. quo, cf. 1. 19. 

35. discere, master, comprehend — 
as a judge should. 

37. nee utra, neither, not even eitheTf 
supply parte audita. 

39. Tibi, Claudius, sede relicta, 
resigning his place. 

40. He who judges the silent folk 
(the dead) — ^i.e., Minos. 

41. tenens, ruling. The tense is 
vague here ; strictly speaking, it should 
be who once ruled. 

42-46. Those who will mourn him 
most are the pettifoggers, the poetas- 
ters, and the gamblers. 

45. imprimis, especially. 

46. parastis, paravistis, got. fri- 
tillo, dicebox. 


2. Talthybius deorum, the herald of 
the gods (Mercury). Talthybius was 
herald of Agamemnon in the Iliad. 

4. inter . . . , via the Mausoleum of 
Augustus — where Claudius' ashes 
were actually laid. 

5. compendiaria [via], by a short 
cut. Narcissus, one of Claudius' 
most powerful freedmen. While Nar- 
cissus was taking the cure for his gout 
(podagricus, 1. 10), at a fashionable 
watering place (a balineo, 1. 7), 
Claudius was murdered. Thereupon 
Narcissus of course fell from power 
and was immediately put out of the 
way; having wasted no time in ap- 
plying for admission to Heaven, he 
reached Hell ahead of his master. ' 

6. venienti, supply Claudio. 

7. quid . . . homines, how come gods 

Notes: Seneca (Ludus de Morte Claudii) 343 

among men? Celerius, this is more 
peremptory without a verb. 

12. Horatius, cf. Odes II, 13, 34. 
12-13. subalbam . . . deliciis, a 

dirty-white hitch for a pet. 

13. ut, when. 

16-17. The subject of procedunt 
(probably not more than a word or 
two) is lost from our text. Enter the 
chorus of Claudius' and Narcissus' 
victims (as in comedy — or tragedy), 
clapping their hands rhythmically 
and chanting: We have found him, we 
rejoice! — the ritual cry of worship- 
pers of the Egyptian god Osiris. 

19. R., Romani. 

20. duel, cf. [6], 1. 14. 

21. decoris causa, as a matter of 
policy, minorem, by cutting off his 
head. This alludes to that famous 
bed of the mythical Procrustes, on 
which he stretched the short and 
lopped off the long. 

25. necubi, lest anywhere, ne quo 
loco, imparatus, unattended. 

31. Travra . . . , friends zverywhere! 
— an exclamation of pleasure. 

35. sellas, the {curule) chairs, the 


1-8. This is a parody on Roman 
legal procedure and phraseology. 

1. Ducit, the subject is he (Pedo 
Pompeius) . Aeacus, one of the three 
judges of the dead. 

1-2. lege . . . quaerebat, lit., began 
to try him by the Cornelian Statute, 
which was passed concerning assassins 
— i.e., Claudius was charged with 
being a cutthroat. 

2. Postulat . . . recipiat, he (Pedo 
Pompeius) requests the court to note 
Claudius' name (i.e., formally open 
the case). 

3. edit subscriptionem, he reads the 

4. oaa . . . J as many as the sands of 
the desert. This is a proverbial 

phrase taken from the Iliad (IX, 

5. invenit, the subject is Claudius. 

6-7. advocationem, postponement. 

8. patronus, P. Petronius. 

9. altera, one (cf. [12], 1. 36). 

10. aUe . . . , this is a proverb : // he 
be treated as he treated others, justice 
will be done — the ancient principle of 
talio (see Vol. I, p. 9), or: An eye for an 
eye, a tooth for a tooth. 

15. laturam fecisse (colloquial), 
had done his bearing of burdens, siti 
(from sitis), ablative. 

17. sufflaminandam, ought to he 
checked. Non placuit ulU, placuit 
nulli, it was decided that no one. 

18. missionem dari, should be let off. 
vel Claudius, even Claudius, Claudius 

20. alicuius . . . spem, hope of 
{attaining) some desire. 

21. pertuso, bottomless. This is a 
variation of the Danaids' punishment, 
especially designed for gamblers. 


1. missurus, about to mnke a throw 

2. subducto fundo, the bottom (of the 
dicebox) being removed. 

3. auderet, wished, talcs, tesseras. 

4. lusuro . . . semper, like one ever 
about to play. 

5. decepere fidem, (the dice) de- 
ceived his confidence. 

6. dilabitur alea, dilabuntur tes- 
serae, assiduo furto, vrith constant 

8. Sisyphio . . . j the burden (or 
stone) rolls from the neck of Sisyphus. 

9. C. Caesar, Caligula. 

10. ilium, Claudius, ipso, Calig- 
ula, flagris, whips. 

11. colaphis, buffets on the ear. 

12. Menandro, this is probably the 
Greek comic poet Menander — who is 


Notes: Petronius (The Satyricon) 

now a freedman and therefore first 
assistant to Aeacus. 

13. ut ,,, J to be (Menander's) law 
clerk. Eternal drudgery in a petty- 
court of law is Claudius' final doom. 


Trimalchio's Dinner 

2. suavius esse, be better company 
(cf. phrases like bene esse). Suavius 
is an adverb, nescioquid, for some 
reason or other, somehow. 

3. sic . . . videas, as you hope to see 
me happy — a popular form of assev- 
eration. The colloquial English e- 
quivalent would be a purpose clause, 
to make me happy; or a conditional 
clause, if you wish to oblige me. usu 
venit, contigit, not an indirect ques- 
tion: tell the thing which happened to 
you, tell your adventure (or story) — 
Trimalchio had heard it before. 

4-5. me transeat, pass me by, ex- 
presses a wish. 

5. gaudimonio, gavdio. 

6. hilaria sint, hilaritas sit — ^i.e., 
hilares simus. 

6-7. scholasticos, scholars. Several 
highbrows at the banquet had just 
been laughing at Trimalchio and his 
illiterate friends. 

7. Viderint, let them see to it — i.e., 
that is their lookout (or affair). 

7-8. quid . . . ridet, it costs me 
nothing to be laughed at. 

9. Haec . . . dedit, this is mock- 
heroic, a stock phrase used by Vergil 
and other poets. 

10. servirem, servus essem. Vico 
Angusto, Narrow Lane. 

12. coponis, cauponis, tavernkeeper. 
noveratis, you remember. Taren- 
tinam, /rom Tarentum. 

13. bacciballimi, plump (or buxom) 

15. bene-moria, adjective, good- 
natured — i.e., bonos mores habuit. 

16. assem (from as), penny. 
16-17. in illius , , , ^ I put in her 


17. fefellitus (from fallo), this is 
a vulgar form of the past participle. 

17-18. Huius contubernalis, her 

18. ad villam, at the farm — Mehssa 
was also there. 

18-19. per . . , aginavi, by hook and 
by crook I strove. Egi and aginavi are 
roughly synonymous. 

21. ad ... , lit., to attend to some 
elegant junk — a slighting reference to 
the master's business. 

22. hospitem nostrum, a guest of 
ours. Being timid, Niceros wants 

23. miliarium, milestone. 

24. Orcus, hell. Apoculamus nos 
(slang), we trot along, galli-cinia, 
cockcrow (2 a.m.). 

25-26. monimenta, graves. These 
were always just outside the city 
gates — as on the Appian Way, near 

26. ad stelas facere, make for the 
gravestones. Stelas is Greek. 

27. cantabundus, cantans. nu- 
mero, verb. He sings and counts the 
gravestones to keep up his courage in 
such a spooky place. 

28. secundxun, preposition, along- 

29. anima in naso, this is pro- 
verbial, equivalent to one's heart in 
one's mouth, esse, a narrative infin- 
itive, est. 

30. circum-minxit, made water 

31. ut mentiar, depends on tanti. 

32. tanti facie, / value so much. 
quod, as. 

34. primitus, primo. 

35-36. Qui . . . , lit., who to die of 

Notes: Petronius (The Satyricon) 


fright hut If — i.e., / almost died of 

37. umbras cecidi, in his terror he 
drew his sword on every shadow, 
thinking it a foe. 

38. Ut larva, like a ghost. 

38-39. per . . . volabat, ran down 
my crotch. 

39. mortui, glazed. 

41-43. lupus . . . misit, this is an 
illiterate style of speech: A wolf came 
into the farm, and all the sheep — he 
let their blood like a butcher would. 

43. derisit, had the lau^h on us. 
fugit, escaped. 

46. Gai, his master, copo com- 
pilatus, a cheated innkeeper. 

49. bo vis, nominative, bos. 

50. versi-pellem, one who can 
change his skin, a werewolf. 

52. ex-opinissent (from ex-opinis- 
so), a vulgar equivalent of ex-opinor. 

53. habeam, expresses a wish: 
a curse upon himself if he lies. 

54-56. salvo . . . inhorruerunt, if, 
without doubting your story, there is 
any truth in such things, how my hair 
stood on end! 

56. Niceronem, this is a Latinized, 
and therefore an incorrect, form. 
The accusative should be Nicerotem. 

58. asinus . . . , i.e., it is a miracle. 
58-59. capillatus, a pretty boy with 

long curls. 

59. Chiam, luxurious. ipsimi, 
master, a contraction of ipsissimi — 
the form used by Plautus. 

60. delicatus, the favorite, cacci- 
tus, paragon. 

60-61. omnium numerum (slang), 
perhaps A 1. Numerum is equival- 
ent to numerorum. 

62. stnga.ey witches, striderey howl. 

67-68. mulierem . . . , ran a woman 
through, just about here (or in this 

72. cluso, clauso. 

74. manuciolum . . . , straw dummy. 

76. vavatonem, puppet. 

77. plus-sciae, uncanny. 
80. phreneticus, raving mxid. 

The Widow of Ephesus 

2. ad spectaculum sui, lit., to the 
sight of herself — i.e., to see (or wonder 
at) her. 

3. virimi extulisset, laid out her 
husband — when he died. 

4. funus prosequi, English would 
say follow the hearse. 

5. in conditorium, into the tomb — a 
vault or mausoleum. 

6. hypogaeo (Greek), sub-terraneo, 
an underground vault. 

8-9. afilictantem, persequentem, 
agrees with her (the object of ab- 
ducere) — i.e., sic se afflixit ac mortem 
inedid persecuta est, neqae parentes earn 
abducere potuerunt. 

10. magistratus, nominative plural. 

10-11. singularis exempli femina, 
as a woman of singular virtue. 

12. aegrae, dative, the widow. 

13. lacrimas commodabat lugenti, 
lit., accommodated her tears to the 
mourner — i.e., wept with the widow. 

14. lumen, {oil) lamp. 

15. fabula, topic of talk. 

15-16. illud affulsisse exemplum, 
English would say: she was a shining 

16. ordinis, rank. 

18. latrones, robbers, secundum, 
alongside of. casulam, little house — 
i.e., the vault. 

20. miles, sentry. 

21. detraheret, take down — from 
the gibbet. Criminals were denied 
burial, but friends or relatives often 
tried to steal their bodies or conduct 
burial services for them clandestinely. 
sibi, an ethical dative — colloquial and 

22-23. vitio gentis humanae, by a 
natural human failing — viz., curiosity. 
26. iacentis, of the dead man. 


Notes: Statius (Silvae) 

28. desiderium, the object of 'pati. 
feminam, the subject of 'pati. ex- 
stincti, mortui. 

29. cenulam, supper. 

30. nihil profuturo, useless. 

31. pectus diduceret, break her 
heart, omnium . . . , this is indirect 
discourse, relates (in part) his words 
of consolation. 

32. idem domicilium, the tomb. 

33. ignota, disregarded. 

37. ancilla, the maid, as well as the 
mistress, was starving, vini . . . 
corrupta, tempted by him with the 
perfume of the wine. 

40-41. soluta fueris, mortua eris. 

43. This line is taken from Vergil's 
Aeneid (IV, 34). 

45. lucis, life. 

45-46. Ipsum . . . , ipsum corpus 
mortui debet admonere te. 

51. himianam satietatem, hominum 
satietatem, homines satiatos (or satu- 
ros), human beings when their stonwLchs 
are full. 

54. conciliante gratiam, pleading 
his suit. 

55-56. These lines are taken from 
Vergil's Aeneid (IV, 38^39). 

58. utnunque, both to eat his food 
and be his paramour. 

64. quicquid . . . poterat, all the 
good things (food and drink) that his 
means would allow. 

65. co-emebat, this is a compound 
of con and emo. 

66. cruciarii, noun, genitive singu- 
lar, criminal. 

67-68. supfemo officio, last rites. 
68. circumscriptus dtmi desidet, 
thus tricked while shirking his duty. 

71. sententiam, death sentence. 
gladio, by suicide. 

72. commodaret . . . locum, this is a 
command in indirect discourse; he 

said to her: commoda locum mihi 
perituro, make ready (or prepare) my 

73. familiari, paramour. 

75. funera, corpses. 

76. impendere, supply cruci. Se- 
cundimi, preposition. 

78. ingenio, cleverness, ingenuity. 


Ode to Sleep 

4. curvata cacumina, the bowed tree 

5. idem, as before. 

7. rediens Phoebe, moonrise. 

7-8. aegras stare genas, my face is 

8-9. Oetaeae Paphiaeque 1am- 
pades, morning and evening stars. 

9. Tithonia, Aurora, nostrosques- 
tus, meas querelas. 

10. flagello, lit., whip — ^with which 
she drove the stars from the sky. 
But the EngUsh equivalent would be 
magic wand — referring to the cool 
dew of dawn. 

11. sufficiam, hold out. Non . . . , 
non [sufficerem], si mihi [essent] lumina 
(oculi) mille. 

12. altema statione, alternately on 

14. heus, look you! 

15. ultro, actually. 

16. Inde, from him. inftmdere, 

16-17. te compello, ask you. 

17. turhsLyfolk. 

18. virgae, wand. 

19. suspense poplite, on tiptoe. 

Notes: Martial (Epigrams) 





Hendecasyllabics and Elegiacs 

[a] Apartment-House Life 
in Rome 

3-4. It is to be assumed that 
Novius is a delightful person, well 
worth knowing. 

5. iuncto frui sodale, to enjoy so 
close a comrade. 

7. Niliacam . . . , governs Syene on 
the Nile. 

11. either he or I must. 

12. inquilinus, fellow lodger. 

[h] On a Pet Lap Dog 

1. "Issa," this is perhaps an af- 
fected, babyish pronunciation of ipsa 
— i.e., Lady, nequior, naughtier than. 

4. iapillis, gems. 

5. deliciae catella, pet lap dog. 
Deliciae is a nominative plural. 

6. queritur, whines. 

8. Cello nixa, resting on {her 
master's) neck. 

9. suspiria, breathings. 

10. ventris, of the bladder. 

11. pallia fefellit, betray the bed- 

12. suscitat, supply her master as 
the object. 

13. levari, to be picked up again. 

17. lux suprema, death. 

18. picta tabella, a painting. 
20. nee, not even. 

[c] To a Stingy Host 

2. scidisti, carved. 

3. salsa, humorous, droll, esurire, 
be hungry. 

5. mortuus, a corpse — laid out for 

[d] "I Fear the Greeks, Bearing Gifts" 

1-4. Miraris cur tibi non donemf 
Ne tu mihi dones! 

[f] Epitaph on a Little Child 

1. Fronto, Flacilla, Martial's father 
and mother, respectively. Being 
dead, they would welcome Erotion in 
the next world. 

2. oscula, sweetheart. 

3. parvola, with Erotion. 

4. The reference here is to Cer- 

5-6. She lacked six days of being six 
years old. 

7. patronos, Fronto and Flacilla. 

8. blaeso, lisping, garriat, prattle. 

9. caespes, sod. illi, on her. 

10. tibi, supply gravis. 

Selected Chapters 

The Origin of the German Race 

2. adventibus et hospitiis, a mod- 
ern ethnologist would say migration 
and infiltration. 

2-4. nee terra . . . quaerebant, the 
falsity of this statement shows the 
Romans' complete ignorance of pre- 

4. adversus, hostile. 

5. ab orbe nostro, from the 
Mediterranean basin. Tacitus knew 
nothing of the migration of the Indo- 
Europeans from Central Asia (or 
wherever it was they came from) . 

6. Asia, Asia Minor. 

8. nisi cui patria sit, this is para- 
doxical — but a clever epigram with 
which to end the paragraph. 

10. Tuisto, Twist, Double — a bi- 
sexual god. 

11. Mannum, German Mann, Eng- 


Notes: Tacitus (The Germania) 

lish Man — the son of Twist and 
grandson of Earth, gentis, the hiL- 
man race. 

12. nominibus, Tacitus does not 
give the names of Man's three sons — 
they were probably Ing, 1st, and 
Ermin. proximi, those nearest — the 
North Germans. 

14. Quidam . . . , this is an alterna- 
tive version of the origin of the Ger- 
mans — perhaps a Greek or Roman 
theory, as opposed to native German 
legends; although Tacitus ascribes it 
to antiquity, ut . . . vetustatis, as 
(is natural) in the freedom (i.e., lack of 
accuracy) of antiquity, pluris, more 
than the three mentioned in the 
German legends, dec ortos, dei 
filios. Again Tacitus does not give 
the sons' names — but here they are 
more obvious: Marsus, Gambrivius, 
Suehus, Vandilius, etc. Such epony- 
mous heroes were believed to have 
founded every Greek — and hence 
every Roman — tribe, city, and ham- 

15. pluris-que, agrees with appella- 
iiones. gentis, English would use an 
adjective, tribal. 

19-20. ita . . . paulatim, this is a 
familiar linguistic phenomenon. Thus 
Hellenes — in Homer's time the name 
of an obscure tribe — later became the 
ethnic designation of all the Greeks. 
The Germans have acquired an un- 
usual number of divergent names in 
modern languages, at least three of 
which arose in the same way as 
Germani — viz.. Teutons, Allemands, 
and Saxa (the Fiimish name). 
Germani, in Latin, means Mood 
brothers; and no one knows whether 
this is accidental, or whether the word 
is an actual translation (through the 
Celtic) of some tribal epithet current 
among certain Germans. 

20-22. ut omnes . . . vocarentur, 
the dread name Germani was incor- 
rectly applied by the Gauls to all 

Teutons. When the latter found 
that this name was one to conjure 
with, they themselves adopted it. 

24. conubiis . . . , the Germans were 
unmixed (i.e., indigenous) in the be- 
ginning, and have remained so, 

24-25. propriam, sinceram, sui si- 
milem, the use of so many synonyms 
indicates that Tacitus wished to 
emphasize this point strongly. 

25. tantum, only. 

26. habitus corporum, physical 

28. tantum . . . valida, strong only 
on the offense. What Tacitus regards 
as a racial characteristic is true of all 
uncivilized peoples. 

29. operum, e.g., siege operations, 
fortifications, eadem, equally great. 

30. caelo soloque, sky and soil — ^i .e., 


The Land and Its Products 

1. in universum, on the whole. 

2. horrida, bristling, qui, where. 

3. satis (from sata), grain. Sata 
(things sown) is the past participle of 

4. peconim, sheep. 

5. improcera, small, stunted. 

6. gloria frontis, i.e., handsome 
horns — such as the Italian cattle have, 
numero, quantity rather than quality. 

8. dubito, this is ironical. Tacitus 
implies that their ignorance of gold 
and silver is a blessing. 

10. haud perinde, not so much (as 
we) . Est, it is possible. 

12. non , . . vilitate, lit., in no other 
cheapness (or disregard) than — i.e., 
regarded as no more valuxible than. 
humo, clay. 

13. proximi, those nearest to the 

15. interiores, those in the hinter- 

17. serratos bigatosque, (denarii) 
with milled edges, stamped with the 

Notes: Tacitus (The Germania) 


two-horse chariot — an old Republican 

17-18. magis sequuntur, prefer. 

18. nulla . . . animi, not as a matter 
of taste. 

19. Humerus, denomination. 


I. superest, is abundant. 

,2. maioribus lanceis, long pikes — 
such as those of the Macedonian 
phalanx and the medieval knights. 

3-5. framea, this was a useful, all- 
round weapon — for jabbing or throw- 

6. missilia, light javelins (or darts). 

7. pluraque singuli, et singuli [pe- 
dites] plura [missilia spargunt]. im- 
mensum, supply spatium. vibrant, 

8. sagulo, with only a cape — ^like the 
redskin's blanket, cultus iactatio, 
lit., display of ornament — i.e., showy 
equipment (such as armor inlaid with 
silver or gold). 

10. cassis, made of leather, galea, 
made of metal. 

II. SedneCj nor moreover, variare 
gjrros, to wheel in various directions. 

12. in rectiun . . . orbe, they ride 
straight forward or wheel to the right 
with a single turn, keeping the circle 
unbroken. This does not mean that 
an individual horseman could not 
turn in any direction he pleased, but 
that the cavalry, when attacking en 
masse, used only the right turn. 
They probably had not solved the 
problem of turning their right sides, 
unprotected by shields, toward the 

13. In universum aestimanti, lit., 
to one estimating in general, penes, 

14. eoque, and therefore, mixti, 
infantry and cavalry together in one 

16. numerus, of the picked young 
men who run with the cavalry. 

17. id ipstim, German hundari, 

18. nomen et honor, an honorary 
designation. In Tacitus' day the so- 
called hundred might be composed of 
any number. 

19. cuneos, wedges. Cedere loco, 
to yield ground. 

20. instes, advance, consilli quam 
formidinis, a matter of tactics rather 
than of cowardice. There were inter- 
esting differences in this respect 
among ancient peoples. The Spartan 
code was the most rigid — ^their mot- 
tos being never retreat and return with 
your shield or on it! 

20-21. Corpora . , . referunt, just 
like the Homeric Greeks. 

22-23. nee . . . fas, one who was 
branded a coward was excommuni- 
cated and disfranchised. 

23. bellorum, with superstites. 



1. ex, in accordance with. 

2-4. duces . . . praesimt, leadership 
in the field was entirely a matter of 

3. imperio, inherited authority (or 

4. animadvertere, this is used here 
in its technical, military sense: inflict 
capital punishment. 

4-5. Cetenmi . . . , this is a double 
negative. The entire sentence is 
equivalent to: animadvertere et vin- 
cire et verberare solis sacerdotibus 
permissum [est]. 

7. Effigies et signa, images and 
symbols — of the gods of war. The 
images were totems — e.g., the snake 
or wolf for Wodan, the bear for Thor, 
the ram for Tiu, etc.; the symbols 
were cult objects — e.g., the spear of 


Notes: Tacitus (The Germania) 

Wodan, the hammer of Thor, the 
sword of Tiu, etc. 

8. lucis (sacred) groves, quodque, 
and what. 

11. in proximo pignora [sunt], near 
by are their dear ones. 

12. audiri, a narrative infinitive, 
audiuntur. Hi, women and children, 
families, cmque, to each (warrior). 

13. testes, i.e., of his valor. 

14. exigere, examine — in contrast 
to civilized women, who faint at the 
sight of a little blood. 

15. gestant, carry. 

17-18. constantia . . . , the women 
fell on their knees and implored 
{constantia precum) their men-folk to 
protect them; they bared their breasts 
in the sacred name of motherhood 
(obiectu pectorum); and thus they 
indicated their impending captivity 
(monstratd comminus captivitate — i.e., 
monstraverunt captivitatem comminus 

18. quam, captivitatem. 

20. animi, loyalty (singular in 
English), quibus, /rom w;/iom. 

20-21. puellae nobiles, princesses. 

21. Inesse [feminis], i.e., in women 

23. Vidimus, i.e., in our own life- 

26. facerent, this is sarcastic; 
create, manufacture. The sincere ven- 
eration of the Germans is contrasted 
with the Roman deification of em- 
presses — which was a matter of 


Religion and Oracles 

1. Mercurium, Wodan — officially 
identified by the Romans with Mer- 

2. litare, sacrifice. Hercules, 

3. Mars, Tiu. 

3-4. et Isidi, also to Isis — the 
Egyptian goddess. It is not known 

with what native German goddess 
Isis was identified. 

4. unde, supply sit. parum, non. 

5. signtmi, emblem — of the cult, 
in . . . figuratum, resembling a Libum- 
ian galley. 

6. advectam [esse], modem schol- 
ars doubt this bit of evidence. 

7. parietibus, within temple walls. 
oris, countenance. 

9-10. deorumque . . . vident, as in 
his account of the Jewish religion 
( Histories V, 2), Tacitus finds it diffi- 
cult to describe worship without idols. 

11. Auspicia sortesque, divination, 
and augury by lot. ut qui maxime, 
lit., as those who most do so — ^i.e., as 
much as any people. 

12. consuetudo, traditional method. 
virgam, bough. 

13. svnculos, short sticks, notis... 
discretos, marked with different runes. 

18. prohibuerunt, the subject is 

19. adhuc fides, further confirma- 
tion — presumably by other methods. 

20. illud, the well-known (method). 

21. proprium gentis, (it is) pecidiar 
to the (German) race. 

22. alimtur, the subject is equi (the 
sacred white horses). 

24. pressos . . . curru, yoked to the 
sacred chariot. 

25. hinnitus ac fremitus, neighings 
and snortings. 

27. proceres, nobles, illos, the 
sacred horses. 

31. committunt, match in combat. 

Lords and Henchmen 

2. non cuiquam, nemini. moris 
[est], it is customary. 

3. suflEectiirmn, that he will be 

5. ornant, invest, toga, the taking 
of the toga — i.e., the coming-of-age 

Notes: Tacitus (The Germania) 


6. domus, genitive, of the family. 
rei publicae [pars], a citizen. 

7-8. principis dignationem, rank of 
chieftain . 

8-10. adulescentulis . . . , these 
princelings receive special training as 
a warrior class; they are not ashamed 
to associate with those who are in- 
ferior to them in rank, but superior in 
age and experience. 

10. comites, this is a technical 
term; henchmen, men-at-arms. Gra- 
dus, accusative plural, comitatus, 
the band of men-at-arms. 

11. eius quern sectantur, the chief- 

12. quibus [sit] , , . ^ as to which 
ones have. 

12-13. principmn, supply magna 
aemulatio est. 

13. Haec, supply est. 

16. cuique, supply principi. id 
nomen, this is renown. 

18. expetuntur, the subject is 
famous chieftains. 

19. profligant, settle without fighting. 

20. turpe, supply est. 

21-22. infame, probrosum, supply 

23. sua, one's own. 

24. eius, of the chieftain, praeci- 
puum sacramentum, most solemn 

27-29. Young chieftains with their 
men-at-arms offer their services to 
warring tribes, for the sake of ad- 

29. quies, peace and repose. 
29-30. magnumque . . . tueare, 

this continued to be the economic 
cause of constant petty warfare 
among the robber barons and other 
nobles, during the Middle Ages. 
Tueare means one may maintain. 

30. exigunt, the subject is comites, 
the henchmen. 

31. ilium . . . illam, this . . .or that — 
typical cases. 

32-33. epulae et apparatus, these 
are synonyms: banquets and feasts. 

33. pro . . . cedunt, pass as, take the 
place of. 

35. annum, season, harvest, per- 
suaseris, supply Germanis. vocare, 

37. quod, that which. 

38. multum, plus, supply temporis. 
42. hebent, are sluggish. 

44. ultro, voluntarily, unsollidted. 

45. armentorum, a partitive geni- 
tive, used absolutely to express some 
— as in French. 

46. necessitatibus subvenit, serves 
their needs — i.e., helps meet the exr- 
pense of supporting their henchmen 
(cf. 11. 29-33 above). 

48-49. phalerae torquesque, trap- 
pings and bracelets. 

49. docuimus, i.e., we Romans — 
especially was this the policy of 
Caligula and Domitian. 



1. populis, a dative of agent. 

2. pati, supply Germanos as the 
subject. sedes, abodes. Colimt, 
dwell, live. These are solitary dwel- 
lers, perhaps nomads — not dwellers in 

3. Vicos, villages. 

7. caementorimi, rubble, concrete — 
the great Roman invention used for 
building roads, walls, and houses, 
tegularum, tiles. 

8. citra, without. 

9. Quaedam loca, e.g., wall spaces, 
between the beams of a half-timbered 
house, illinunt, paint with, terra, 
perhaps white clay or chalky soil. 

10-11. liniamenta . . . imitetur, 
suggests colored designs — much used 
in Italy. 

12. fimo, dung. This may not be 
very aesthetic, but is extremely use- 
ful as a generator of heat. 


Notes: Tacitus (The Germania) 

13. eiusmodi, tales, with loci. 
16. quod . . . sunt, raiders do not 
have time to search. 


1. sagum, blanket, fibula, brooch. 
spina, thorn. 

2. cetera intecti, otherwise unpro- 

6. Gerunt, they wear, proximi ri- 
pae, those nearest the Rhine-Danube 
boundary — where they have been 
corrupted by Roman customs. 

7. cultus, a collective noun, objects 
of personal adornment. 

7-9. velamina . . . gignit, e.g., seal- 
skin robes, ornamented with small 
pieces (maculis), or entire skins, of 
white ermine. 

10. habitus, noun, garb, supply est. 
lineis amictibus, linen garments. 

12. manicas, sleeves, brachia ac 
lacertos, an accusative of specifica- 
tion, their entire arms. 

134 pTO^hnsLpaiSy upper half. Mod- 
esty in dress is a matter of convention. 
The Romans were as shocked by 
German decollete, as the Japanese are 
by ours, whereas in actual morality, 
the Germans were far superior to the 
Romans, as Tacitus goes on to say in 
the next chapter. 


1. Quamquam, and yet — in spite of 
the apparent immodesty of women's 

3-4. qui . . . ambiuntur, this is a 
case of zeugma. More logically ex- 
pressed, the sentence would read: qui 
non lihidine [plures uxores ducunt], 
sed etc. sed . . . ambiuntur, but whose 
favor is sought through plural mar- 
riages, because of their noble birth (i.e., 
political importance). 

5. Dotem, dowry. 

5-6. Intersunt, are present — at the 

8. comatur, subjunctive, be 

9. In, on the basis of. 

11. arcana sacra, the mystic sacra- 
ment, coniugales deos, English 
would use a more abstract phrase — 
e.g., the holiness of marriage. 

12. extra, exempt from. 

17. accipere, supply c^ona. Uberis, 
to her children. 

19. agunt, they (the women) live. 
spectaculorum, i.e., in the theaters. 

20. irritationibus, temptations. 

20-21. litterarum secreta, clandes- 
tine correspondence — Pleading to assig- 

22. praesens, immediate. 

26. invenerit, the subject is she 
(the fallen woman) . 

27. saeculum, the age, the way of the 

28. tantum, only. 

31. ne ulla, supply sit. ne longior, 
supply sit. 

31-32. ne . . . ament, this is a much 
disputed passage. Here, as often, 
Tacitus moralizes with "mid-Vic- 
torian" Puritanism. Theoretically a 
woman should not be infatuated with 
a man, but should love her duty — 
which for b er is marriage. Naturally, 
the highest ideal is to assume that 
duty only once in life (cf. Judith). 
Those scholars who interpret matri- 
monium ament as meaning marriage- 
crazy, and ascribe to Tacitus just the 
reverse of what he meant, miss the 
whole point. The repetition in the 
manuscripts (ne tamquam maritum, 
sed tamquam matrimonium ament) is 
due to carelessness or confusion of 
thought on the part of some scribe. 

33. finire, by producing abortion. 
Birth control was undreamed of at 
that time, ex adgnatis, of further (or 
subsequent) children — ^in addition to 

Notes: Tacitus (The Germania) 


the heir, who (according to the effete 
Roman point of view) was offspring 
enough ! 


Family Relationships 

4. educationis, iip-bringing . 

6. venus, marriage. 

7. festinantur, into marriage. 

7-8. eadem iuventa, {there is) the 
same period of youth {for girls as for 
boys) — a profound and significant dif- 
ference in the lives of Nordic and 
Southern peoples. Among the 
Greeks, Romans, and other Southern 
peoples, there was no such thing as 
"young womanhood." Whereas men 
passed through three stages of growth 
(childhood, youth, and manhood), 
women passed through only two 
(childhood and wifehood). For wo- 
men married at twelve and thirteen 
years of age — i.e., immediately upon 
reaching puberty — , and therefore 
enjoyed no time of adult, or ado- 
lescent, freedom. Our own tradition 
in this respect is wholly Nordic; and 
the Nordic ideal, with its corollaries of 
athletics and higher education for 
young women, is slowly gaining 
ground in the modern Latin countries 
of France, Italy, and Spain. 

8. pares, of the same age — as their 
husbands. This was quite the oppo- 
site of Roman custom, miscentur, 
(the girls) marry. 

9. liberi, the children. 

9-11. Sororum . . . arbitrantur, a 
man was as much concerned over his 
sister's children as over his own; 
children regarded their maternal 
uncle as in loco parentis — a wide- 
spread custom among primitive 
peoples, arising probably from poly- 

10. Quidam, certain German 

11. hunc nexum, the avuncular 

12. magis exigunt, in demanding 
hostages of a chieftain, they prefer his 
nephews and nieces (his sister's 
children) to his sons and daughters. 

14. sui liberi, his own children. 
nullum testamentum, Roman law is 
concerned primarily with inheritance. 
Then, as now, the vagaries of testa- 
tors were the most fruitful source of 

17. orbitatis pretia, well-to-do Ro- 
mans were compensated, or rewarded, 
for their childlessness by an entourage 
of flatterers and toadies — seeking 


Feuds — ^Hospitality 

2-3. luitur . . . numero, the blood 
money, or wergeld. This was a 
primitive custom, wholly foreign to 
Roman law, but still found in Teu- 
tonic codes of the early Middle Ages. 

4. domus, clan, family — of the 
murdered man. utuiter in publicum, 
to the advantage of the community. 

5. iuxta libertatem, along with 
liberty — i.e., such general freedom 
from restraint as the barbaric Ger- 
mans enjoy. 

6. Convictibus, /eas is. 

7-8. pro fortuna, in accordance with 
his means. 

8. excipit, supply guests as the ob- 
ject. Ctmi defecere, when {the pro- 
visions) give out. 

13. concedere, to grant it. moris 
[est], it is customary. 


Daily Life — Food and Drink 

1. extrahunt, prolong. 

3. sedes, seats, chairs. This cus- 
tom, current also among the Homeric 
Greeks, was in striking contrast to the 

5. convivia, drinking bouts. 

6. nulli, nemini. 


Notes: Pliny (Letters) 

7. conviciis, wrangling. 

10. magis, with pateat (1. 11). 

11. simplices, /ranfc. 

12-13. adhuc secreta, the previous 

14. retractattir, supply res (the 
business) as the subject. 

14-15. salva . . . est, this is a 
metaphor taken from the keeping of 
accounts, the account of each (the in- 
toxicated and the sober) period is 
balanced with the other — i.e., due regard 
is paid both periods of deliberation. 

17. Potui humor, Ut., liquid for 
drinking — i.e., their beverage (beer). 

18. mercantur, buy. It was not 
until much later that the grape began 
to be cultivated along the Rhine. 

21-22. Si . . . suggerendo, lit., if one 
shall have encouraged their insobriety by 
supplying — as our ancestors supplied 
rum to the Indians. 

Sports and Gambling 

2. ludicrum, sport. 

5. quamvis, modifies audacis only: 
however bold, lasciviae, pastime. 

6. mirere, mireris, equivalent to 
mirum est. 

9. victus, the loser. 

10. ven-ire (from venreo), to be sold. 

Burial Customs 

1. ambitio, pretentious display. 
4. et, also, caespes, sod. 




1. sue S{alutein dicit], to his friend, 

2. si quas, quascumque. paulo cu- 

ratius, a comparative adverb, vdth 
more than ordinary care. He will not 
include hurriedly written business 
letters, elsewhere called inlitteratissi- 
mas litterasy but only those letters 
composed in his best literary manner 
— undoubtedly with a view to publi- 
cation, though naturally he does not 
mention that. The probability is 
that he kept a copy of every "liter- 
ary" letter, and revised each care- 
fully before publication. 

4. ut, just as. quaeque, supply 

5. Superest, it only remains. 

6. obsequii, compliance, neglec- 
tae, affected unconcern! 


1. Olim, iam diu. 

2. Nihil . . . , this is an imaginary 

3. illud unde, that with which. 

4. incipere, supply epistulas. pri- 
ores, our forefathers — e.g., Cicero, 
whose letters generally began with 
this formula abbreviated: S. V. B. 
E. .E. V. 

6. quod, which. 


1. liquet, this is impersonal, con- 

3. impotens, headstrong. fiLKpaC- 
Tios, petty, causa, supply irae meae. 

7. miseris (from mitto), the future 

8. vera, supply videbitur. auditu- 
rus, listen to. 

9. occupatior, too busy, illud, the 
following, nee, not even. Nee di 
sinant is equivalent to etiam di 

10. ut infirmior, ut [dicas] "infir- 
mior [eram]." The w^-clause is a 
substantive clause in apposition with 

Notes: Pliny (Letters) 



4. illud . . . delicatus, the former, 
because I am self-indulgent (or on 
pleasure bent). 

5. pigrius, lazier than. 


3. viridibus, verdure. 

5. homo, Calpurnius Macer — ^who 
had probably written Pliny: Tandem 
felicissimus sum quia me in villa 
amoenissima composui (or some such 
phrase) . Pliny makes fun of Macer's 
superlatives by saying that if he is 
now for the first time felicissimus, he 
must previously have been only 
felicior {rather happy). 

5-6. in Tuscis, at my Tuscan estate. 
Tuscis is masculine plural. 

6. quae, which things (hunting and 
studying) . altemis, alternately. 

7. simul, this is explained in the 
next letter. 

8. capere, i.e., by himting. 


4. mea, my customary. Ad retia, 
at the nets. These resembled tennis 
nets and were part of a hunter's 
regular equipment. Pliny hunted as 
royalty does today — sitting in a chair, 
while beaters drive the game within 

5. in proximo, at hand, within reach. 
venabulum, hunting spear. One of 
his servants probably speared the 
wild boars. 

6. pugillares (from pugnus), supply 
tabulas: handy pad — small wax tab- 
lets, regularly used for notes and 
jottings. Pugnus means fist, medi- 
tabar, / would compose — verses prob- 

7. manus vacuas, no game, ceras, 

8. ut, how. 

11. Proinde, accordingly. 
12-13. ut . . . etiam, not only lunch 
basket and flashy but also. 


2. te, the subject of studere. 

3. Negat, the subject is it (his 

4. tarn polita quam non potest, lit., 
as polished as cannot, nisi, except. 

5. beatus, lucky — to be so talented. 


2. tecum, i.e., in spirit, ad te, at 
your side. 

4. per-copiosus, copiosissimus. 

7. Neutnim satis, not quite (or 
hardly) either, possum, supply /acere. 

9. visa, supply sunt. 


1. Quemadmodum, how (interroga- 

2. approbare, prove, quantopere, 

how much (an indirect question). 

2-3. magis . . . quam quod, better 
. . . than that. 

3. exprimere, paraphrase. 

6. patrii sermonis, the Latin lan- 
guage (cf . The Difficulty of Lux^retius' 
Task; Vol. I; p. 206, 11. 1^). 

8. gratiae, a partitive genitive, with 


1. Probo, approve. 

2. profectum, noun, progress — i.e. 
success in life. 

2-3. disertissimo viro, the father 
whom Pliny praises in the rest of this 
letter — not without reflected glory for 

3. laudandum, supply sit. simul, 

4. quern sequi, supply debeas. 

6. exemplar, i.e., of conduct. 

7. qui, the antecedent is te (1. 5). 


Notes: Pliny (Letters) 


1. agenti, pleading, speaking — in 
the centumviral court. 

2. intra auctoritatem, within the 
hounds of decorum — before their ex- 
citement and enthusiasm over PUny's 
oratory made them forget the dignity 
of their position ! 

4. consurgerent, rose as one man. 
laudarent, applauded, famam, glory. 

6. sermone, story, anecdote — told 
by Tacitus. Corneli, a subjective 

7-8. Circensibus proximis, at the 
last races. 

8. hunc, the subject of requisisse, 
refers to quodam (1. 7) — i.e., this man 
asked Tacitus, sermones, conversa- 
tion (singular in English). 

10. ex studiis, the stranger must 
have mentioned reading and enjoying 
the works of Tacitus. Ad hoc ilium 
[dixisse], thereupon he said. 

12. nostra, of us two. 

12-13. quasi . . . redduntur, belong- 
ing to literature {as it were), not just to 
(you and me as) individuals, are 
definitely associated with letters — i.e., 
the names of Tacitus and Pliny are 
synonymous with, say, history and 

13-14. his [hominibus] . . . quibus, 

15-16. Recumbebat mecum, "sat" 
next to me at a dinner party. 

16. super eiuii, on the other side of 
him. municeps, a fellow townsman. 

17. Rufinus, supply dixit. 

18-19. de studiis nostris, supply 

20. Varum, noun. 

21. iure, this is emphatic — ^i.e., if 
Demosthenes was justified in feeling 
pleased, ita, as follows, with these 
words — viz., this is Demosthenes. The 
point of the anecdote is that Demos- 
thenes got more satisfaction from the 
spontaneous admiration of a humble I 

peasant woman than from the studied 
eulogies of his peers. 

24. iactantior, too boastful. 

26. nee ullius . . . et, et nullius , . . 
et, both . . . and. English is content 
with a single and. laudibus, renown 
(singular in English) . nostris, meis. 


2. studiis, studies, intellectvxil 
achievement — in implied contrast to 
the materialism of Pliny's age. 

3. apud centumviros, before the 
Centumviri — a court that dealt prin- 
cipally with inheritance cases. 

4. a tribtmali, from the platform. 
Pliny had to enter the hall from the 
stage door. 

5. stipatione, press of people. 
cetera, supply loca. Ad hoc, more- 
over, omatus, illustrious, of noble 

6-7. In the scramble for places his 
toga was probably pulled off, but not 
damaged ; then his lighter tunics were 
torn to shreds. To hide his naked- 
ness, he then put on his toga alone. 

9. alienam, aliorum [desidiam], 
praetendamus, allege in extenuationy 
use as a cloak for. 


2. alias, an adverb of time. 

3. Ipse, / myself, in Tusculano, at 
my Tusculan estate (or villa). 

4. opusculimi, a literary work. 

5. hanc intentionem, my present 

7. festinationi . . . pereat, lit., be 
lost to my haste — i.e., to avoid delay. 
quod, that which. 

7-8. praesens, in person. 

9. patria, native town — viz., Novum 
Comum (now Como), in Northern 

10. praetextatus, in his early teens 
— before he wore the toga virilis. 

11. studes, do you go to school? 

Notes: Pliny (Letters) 


12. Mediolani, at Milan — the near- 
est large city. 

14. Quare . . . , Pliny's reply to the 
boy's father. 

15. intererat vestra, it would be to 
your interest. 

15-16. opportune . . . audiebant, 
Pliny saw his chance to make a 

19. Quantuliun est, what a small 
matter (or how easy) it would he. Two 
infinitive phrases are in apposition 
with this: (1) to hire professors (con- 
ducere praeceptores) ; and (2) to spend 
on salaries what you now spend on 
hoard, transportation, etc. 

20-22. quodque impenditis, and 
what you spend, ea quae emuntur, 
e.g., school supplies, peregre, away 
from home. 

22. ad-icere mercedibus, to apply to 
the (professors') salaries, adeo, more- 

23. pro re publica, used in its more 
general sense, for the commonwealth. 

23-24. quasi . . . parente, as one 
would give one's daughter a dowry, or 
support an aged parent. 

24-25. conf erre vobis placebit, this 
is a tactful substitute for conferre 
poteritis. Like modem Carnegies 
and Rockefellers, Pliny preferred to 
make his gift contingent on the raising 
of a further sum by the beneficiaries. 

26. ambitu, self-seeking. 

27. publice, at public expense. 

28. vitio, perversion of public 
funds, malfeasance. 

28-30. si . . . addatur, this is the 

29. isdemque, parentihusgue, dat- 
ive, with addatur {is laid on). 
religio, obligation. 

30. iudicandi, i.e., selecting a good 

32. ne . . . non nisi, the negatives 
are somewhat involved, but Pliny 
obviously means: that . . . no one who 

is not worthy (i.e., only a worthy man) 
shall draw pay. 

33. consentite, conspirate, i.e., get 

34. maioremque • . . sumite, i.e., 
emulate my generosity. 

35. praestare, bestow. 

39. inducatis, appoint, oppidis, 
townfolk. hinc, English would say 

40. utque, and as, correlative with 

42. altius, more fully. 
44-45. ex . . . quae, from the flock of 
students who. 

46. scllicitare, approach, offer the 
job to. 

47. fidem meam obstringam, obli- 
gate myself, promise the fob. 

50. illiic, to Comum — as a candi- 
date, hinc, from Rome (or Tacitus) . 


2. exegerim, spent, quam quo, 
than when. 

2-3. adeo quidem ut, to such an ex- 
tent that. 

3. senescere, to live to old age. 

4. illo, Spurinna's. 

5. certus, immutable. The con- 
templation of the stars in their courses 
fills Pliny with admiration for law and 
order — for regularity in all things. 

6. disposita, well-ordered. 

6-7. iuvenes, the object of in- 

7. confusa, lit., confused things — 
i.e., confusion. 

8. quibus, for whom. 
10. quin, nay. 

11-12. parva haec circiunagit, he 
follows a trivial round of common tasks. 
et velut orbe, and orbit, so to speak — 
suggesting the stars or planets. 

12. lectulo continetur, stays abed. 

17. liber rursus, again a hook! 

18. potior, in preference to. 
18-19. singularis exempli, a de- 


Notes: Pliny (Letters) 

scriptive genitive, oj exemplary chnr- 

20. secretum, intimacy. 

20-21. antiquitatis, of the good old 

21. audias, hear about. 

22-23. hoc . . . videatur, has made it 
<L rule of modesty not to seem to preach. 

25. stilo, literary work. 

25-26. utraque lingua, Greek and 

26. mira, supply est. illis, dative. 
Jiis lyrics. 

27. hilaritaS) joviality, ctunulat, 
■enhances. The same is true of the 
English poets John Donne and Robert 

30. movetur pila, lit., the hall is 
thrown — i.e., he 'plays hall. 

32. legentem, someone reading. 

33. liberum est amicis, his friends 
•are free. 

35. nitida, elegant, choice, frugi, 
an indeclinable adjective. 

36. et Corinthia, bronzes too — 
probably candelabra and the like, 
nee aflS-cittu", but is not carried away 
(or obsessed) by. To be a rabid 
collector of works of art was regarded 
-as sinful by the Stoics. 

38. Siunit . . . nocte, he prolongs 
the banquet until after dark, et, 

40-41. illi [est] vigor, habet vigorem. 

42. prudentia, he still has the 
strength of a youth, but wisely re- 
frains from attempting too much. 

43. praesumo, anticipate. Ingres- 
sums, English would use a finite 
verb: and I intend to take it up. 

44. ratio aetatis, the matter of my 
age. receptui canere, this is a mili- 
tary metaphor: sound a retreat — as 
soon as he reaches the retiring age. 

50. subsigno, pledge myself. This 
letter is a written promise, signed by 
Pliny, longius evehi, stray (from my 

purpose), in ius voces, call me to 

51. ad, on the evidence of — as though 
he were to sue him for breach of 
promise, quiescere, retire — from ac- 
tive life. 


1-3. libellos recognoscendos emen- 
dandosque curem, have the copies of 
my works proof read and corrected — 
by one of his secretaries. When 
books were not printed, but written 
by hand, each copy had its own 
individual errors. To make sure that 
the text was correct, the student had 
to have copies revised and auto- 
graphed by the author. 

2. comparasti, acquired, collected. 
4-6. cum [tu] tanti putes, since you 

think it worth while. The phrase vir 
. . . praefuturus is in apposition with 

5. super haec, furthermore. 

7. quantopere, how greatly? This 
is a rhetorical question. 

8. sarcinarum, of your baggage. 

9. comites istos, Pliny's books. 

10. addere, Pliny will write more 
while his friend is away. 

10-11. Neque mediocriter, et ma- 

11. tu lector, lit., you as reader. 


1-2. Commendas . . . , you write me 
a letter urging me to vote for Naso. 

2-3. ipsxun, supply mihi com- 

3. Fero, I let it pass — ^this is mock- 

4. morante, being. 

4-5. Habet . . . , zeal has this 
characteristic — namely, that. This is 
a general truth, and a compliment to 

6. censeo, / 

Notes: Pliny (Letters) 



I. urbs nostra, Rome. 

5. penitus et domi, thoroughly and 
on his own ground. 

7. humanitate, human kindness, 
brotherly love. 

7-8. utinam . . , , utinam ipse 
impleverim spent, quam ille. sic . . . 
ut ille, as surely as he. 

9. illas, his virtues. 

10. satis, Jully. 

II. scalptore, engraver, fictore, 
sculptor, nisi artifex [non potest], 
only an artist can. 

14-15. advertant et afficiant, at- 
tract and influence. 

15. Disputat, he lectures. 

16. effingit, reproduces. 

17-18. repugnantis, the rehictant. 
Ad . . . corporis, in addition, there is 
his tall stature. 

20. licet, although, illi, for him. 

21. horror, uncouthness. Many 
professional philosophers made a 
great show of wearing sackcloth and 
ashes, but Euphrates indulged in no 
such humbug, tristitia, forbidding 

22. occursum, noun, a meeting with 

23-26. This is an excellent descrip- 
tion of the perfect preacher. Many 
so-called pagan sects anticipated the 
Christian ideal. 

24-25. Sequaris monentem, you 
(i.e., one) would follow him preaching. 

25-26. persuaderi . . . cupias, 
you would like him to keep on exhorting 
you, even after he has finished. 

26. [sunt ei] liberi, habet liberos. 

27. Socer, his father-in-law is. 

28. cum . . . uno, quod, not only in 
the rest of his life, but also in this one 
particular — namely, that. 

29. provinciae princeps, the leading 
Roman in the province, condiciones, 
offers of marriage, generiun, son-in- 

30. honoribus, political office, pub- 
lic life. 

31. plura, supply dicam. 

32. An ... , this question is a 
possible answer to the first: Is it 
perhaps in order that I may be more 

33. officio, at this time (99 A.D.), 
Pliny was secretary of the treasury 
(praefectus aerarii). pro, on — i.e., / 
ax^t as judge (in tax cases probably). 

34. subnoto libellos, lit., / mark 
petitions at the bottom. After reading 
each petition, Pliny pencils a brief 
comment at the bottom — such as 
O.K., or Rejected, conficio tabulas, 
I make up accounts. 

35-36. nam . . . contingit, for that 
is sometimes my good fortune. 

37-38. philosophiae, i.e., ethical 
philosophy. Euphrates maintains 
that true philosophy — true religion, 
as we would say today — consists in 
living up to one's faith. 

39. cognoscere, examine. This 
and the three infinitives that follow 
denote typical activities of the just 

41. illo, Euphrates. 

43. cui vacat, lit., for whom there is 
leisure — i.e., who have leisure. 

44-45. illi te permittas, put yourself 
in his hands. 

45. bono, blessing, ablative, with 

46. contra, adverb. sensum vo- 
luptatemque, pleasurable emotion. 


2. quod, that. 

3. apud me agit, expresses to me. 
aliis . . . y in letter after letter. 

5. percepturus, being sure to receive. 

6. cum, not only. 


1. Ego vero, yes, I. 

3. libnmi, Rufus' new book — 


Notes: Pliny (Letters) 

which is the occasion for praising him. 
omnibus nuineris (colloquial), in every 

4. amor ipsius, my love for the 

5. ludicavi, / used my critical facul- 
ties — i.e., I was not blinded by friend- 


2. perlegeram, finished reading. 

5. figuTsAxanj imaginative, cum... 
laude, i.e., in the better sense of the 

6-7. velis . . . es, gave full rein to. 

7. utrtunque, his genuis and grief. 

8. ingenium, supply addidit. 


1-2. apud te reprehendisse, have 
complained of me to you. 

3. laudem, verb, amplector, wel- 
come it. 

5. ut, granted that. 

6. Ut, though. 

8. diligentiam, attentions. This is 
sarcastic: let them criticize someone else. 

9. partmi multi, few. 

10-11. ut . . , J ut putem meos 


1. pro-socero, grandfather-in-law 
— ^here Pliny's mother-in-law's father. 

2. neptem, granddaughter — Pliny's 
wife, Calpurnia. 

3. quod cupis, this is a substantive 
clause: that you so desire, equivalent to 
a noun: your desire, mutuo [cupis], 
lit., you desire mutually — i e., you 
desire and so do we, the desire is mu- 

4. desiderio vestri, longing for both 
of you. quod, which longing. 

5. atque adeo, and what is more. 
sarcinulas, hand luggage, traps. 

6. quantum, as much (i.e., fast) as. 
itineris ratio, our plan of travel. 

7. Tuscos, my Tuscan estate. 

7-8. rem familiarem, domestic es- 

8. oculis subiciamus, personally in- 
spect. This was very important for a 
wealthy landowner like Pliny, who 
could hardly keep track of his many 

10. Tiberinum, on-the-Tiber. 
paene, hardly more than. 

11-12. tanto maiore . . . quanto 
minore, with as great an excess of . . .as 
lack of. As the exact correlation is 
awkward in English, it is only neces- 
sary to say: with more enthusiasm than 

12. celebrat, the subject is the 

13. hoc, supply oppido. 

15. paratum, finished, ready. 

17. epulo, by a public feast. 

18. sequenti, supply die. viam . . . 
corripiemus, speed up our main 

19. filiam tuam, Pliny's mother-in- 
law, fortes (colloquial), hale and 

20. continget hilares, continget [in- 
venire vos] hilares. si, ,, ,if we arrive 



2-3. quod teneas, that you clasp. 

3. in vestigio, e.g., beside her on 
the sofa! 

4. his fomentis, this balm. 
4-5. acquiescis, soothe yourself. 
7-8. cuius . . . huius, English re- 
verses the order of these clauses. 


2. In causa [est], is to blame. 

3. Inde est quod, that is why. 

4. in imagine tua, with your image 
before my eyes, inde, supply est. 

5. diaetam, room. 

5-6. ut . . . dicitur, the proverb 
{ipsi pedes ducunt) is no exaggeration. 

6. quod, [inde est] quod. 

7. similis excluso, like one rebuffed. 

Notes: Pliny (Letters) 


8. quo, when, amicorum litibus, 
hy my law practice. 

10. miseria curisque, i.e., of his 


2. Corinthium signum, a Corinth- 
ian statue — an original Greek bronze 

3. festivum et expressimi, pleasing 
and expressive, quantum ego sapio, 
as far as I can judge — in matters of 
artistic taste. 

4. perquam exiguum sapio, have 
very little expert judgment. 

5. intellego, appreciate. 

5-6. Est enim . . . , it is a sincere 
and genuine piece of work, relying 
frankly on its own merits, without 
tricks of style or sensational appeal. 

7-10. The statuette was evidently 
of the Hellenistic period of Greek 
sculpture, which delighted in unusual 
subjects and realistic treatment. 

7. nervi, sinews. 

8. ut spirantis, lit., as of one breath- 
ing (i.e., alive) — a very realistic de- 
scription, cedentes, receding — be- 
cause of baldness. 

9-10. papillae iacent, the chest is 

10-11. A tergo . . . tergo, lit., the 
age is the same {when seen or as far as 
can be judged) from behind — i.e., even 
from the back one would know that it 
represented an old man. 

11. Aes, the bronze — of which the 
statuette was made. 

11-12. vetus et antiquum, old and 
really antique. The statuette was 
probably two or three hundred years 
old when Pliny bought it. At first 
glance anyone could see that the 
bronze was old (vetus) — not shiny and 
new; and upon closer inspection, 
could detect evidences of genuine 

12. omnia, all its qualities (or de- 
tails) y supply sunt. 

13. delectare, supply oculos. im- 
peritorum, of amateurs — like Pliny. 
Quod, which fact. 

14. tirunculum, a mere novice. 
14-15. non ut . . . , Pliny was 

wealthy enough to be an art collector 
and connoisseur, but refrained on 
principle (cf. note on Letter [14], 1. 36). 

16. patria, native town. 

18. soles, supply suscipere. 

20. quo marmore, whatever kind of 
marble, honores, public offices, titles. 

23-24. si . . . permiserit, that ts, 
if my engagements permit. Officii 
ratio is hardly different from simple 

24. ist6, thither, where you are. 

25. contrahes frontem, frown — 
with vexation. 

27. eadem haec, i.e., his engage- 


1-2. Clitimanum fontem, the source 
of the Clitumnus. Clitumnum is an 

5. Hunc subter, subter hunc [collem]. 
exprimitur, gushes. 

6. imparibus, some large, some 
small, e-luctatus gurgitem, having 
escaped from the eddy. 

7. gremio, basin, stipes, dona- 
tions, coins — thrown into the pool 
(along with other bright objects) by 
worshippers and tourists. 

8. non loci devexitate, not because 
of the declivity of the ground. Pliny's 
statement is a scientific impossibility: 
because the slope was so slight, the 
river appeared to be flowing on the 
level, pushed along by the weight of 
the water in back of it. 

9. adhuc, supply est. 
9-10. et iam, and yet. 

10. quas, the antecedent is navium. 

11. obvias, meeting (each other). 
contrario . . . tendentes, lit., with 
contrary exertion tending in opposite 
directions — i.e., working past each 


Notes: Pliny (Letters) 

other, upstream and down. Ample 
space was needed to pass because of 
the swiftness of the current. 

11-12. transmittit, it (the river) lets 
the ships pass. 

12. perfert, bears them, allows them 
plenty of room, ipse, the river (i.e., 

13. solum planum, level ground. 
This is not strictly true (cf. note on 

13-14. idem adversus, lit., it (the 
current) when against one. 

14. contis, poles. luctmdum, sup- 
ply est. 

15. utmmque, this refers to laborem 
. . . variare (1. 16). per . . . fluitanti- 
"bus, to the sight-seers and holiday 
crowd who hire rowboats. 

15-16. ut . . . cursum, according to 
how they steer their course — upstream 
or down. 

17. ut, as though. 

18. imagine, reflection, adnume- 
rat, duplicates, certaverit, a future 
perfect. English uses the present 
tense here. 

20. religiosum, holy. Clitiunnus, 
the god's statue. 

21. praesens, this is used here in its 
technical religious sense; helpful, 
genuine — i.e., at hand when wanted. 
The idea of an omnipresent god be- 
longs to monotheism. 

22. sortes, lots. The foretelling of 
the future by lottery was an ancient 
Italic custom, circa, adverb. 

23. totidemque dii, every little 
shrine has a different god. cuique, 
supply dec est. 

24. ilium [fontem], the chief source 
(already described). 

25. parentem, father, ceterorum, 
supply deorum fontes. 

26. terminus, boundary of, dividing 
line between. 

28. concessum [est], licet. Hispel- 
lates, the people of Hispellum — a 

near-by town. They held the bath- 
ing and hotel concessions. 

31. In summa, in short. 

32. studebis, study. 

33. leges . . . multonim, you will 
read many words of many men — thank 
offerings and other religious inscrip- 
tions, which would interest a scholar 
and an antiquarian. The entire place 
was devoted to the cult of healing. 

35. ridebis, i.e., because of their 
simplicity and illiteracy, quae tua, 
such is your. 


3. dum putas, putans. 

4. era Tuscorum, the edge of Tus- 
cany. Here Tusd means the Tuscan 
people (not estate) — i e., the land of 
Tuscany, litus, seashore. 

5. hi, this estate of mine (singular in 
English), recesserunt, remoti sunt. 

7. accipe, learn. 

13. sub, in the neighborhood of. 

15. Hinc, therefore — because of the 
healthful climate. 

15-16. senes multi [sunt], the 
natives are long-lived. 

16. iam iuvenum, of those already 
grown — say, twenty-five years of age. 
Accordingly the avi might be between 
sixty-five and seventy, and the proavi 
between eighty-five and ninety. 

17. maiorum, of our forefathers. 
19-45. This paragraph, with its 

beautiful description of mountainside 
and broad fertile valley, is an irre- 
futable answer to those who claim 
that the ancient appreciation of land- 
scape was different from or inferior to 
the modern. 

19. Imaginare, imperative. 

20. rerum natura. Nature. Omit 
rerum in translating. 

23. caeduae silvae, lit., cutable (or 
frequently cut) forests — i.e., second 

24. has inter, inter has [silvas]. 
terreni, unwooded. 

Notes: Pliny (Letters) 


27. messem percoquunt, (the hills) 
ripen a harvest. Sub his, below and 
beyond the foothills. 

28. latus, countryside. 

28-29. unam faciem contexunt, 
lit., weave one appearance — i.e., make 
an unbroken expanse. 

29. imoque quasi margine, and 
lower rim, as it were. 

32. Tantis glaebis, in su^h massive 

33. nono demum sulco, only by 
nine plowing s. 

Zl. quidquid liquoris, the object 
of effundit. nee absorbuit, without 

38. ille, the Tiber. 

39. dumtaxat, that is. 

40. summittitur, (the river) shrinks. 

42. regionis situm, landscape. 

43. formam, representation, image, 

44. ea, sux^h. descriptione, pic- 

47. clivo fallente, with its imper- 
ceptible slope, consurgit, the subject 
is collis. 

49. habet, the subject is villa. 

51. Tusculanis 

to my estates m 

Tusculum, Tibur, and Praeneste. He 
fails to mention his great estate in 
Laurentum (cf. Book II, Letter 17). 

52. super ilia, in addition to the 

53. ibi, supply est. 

54. togae, formal dress — stiff and 
uncomfortable with its yards and 
yards of material, which had to be 
pleated and draped on the figure by a 
valet, accersitor, summoner — i.e., no 
one to make demands on your time. 

55. quod ipsiun, which very fact. 
ut, like. 

56. accedit, conduces to. 

58. Mei, my slaves. 

59. eduxeram, brought from the city. 
venia sit dicto, pardon my boasting — a 
conventional and mildly superstitious 

61. loco, this parallels mihi. ser- 
vent, this voices a prayer. 


2. lectitas, read. 

3-4. Fimgar . . . partibus, play the 
part of a catalogue. 

6. De , . . equestri, on javelin 
throwing from horseback, perhaps part 
of a projected Manual of Arms for 
Cavalry, unus, one book — indicating 
the approximate length of the work. 
Authors generally divided their works 
into "books," corresponding to the 
normal length of a papyrus roll; 
Pliny's Studiosus, however, was an ex- 
ception to this practice (see 1. 15). 
hunc, supply librum. 

6-7. praef ectus alae, as commander 
of a cavalry division. 

8. a quo, by whom (Pomponius). 

9. Bellorunij genitive, depends on 
viginti [libri]. 

10. Germaniae, English would say 
with Germany, quibus, in which 

11. inchoavit, he began it. 

12-15. adstitit . . . adsereret, this is 
his dream. 

12. quiescenti, dormienti. Drusus 
Nero, the stepson of Augustus. He 
was the greatest leader the Romans 
had against the Germans, and cam- 
paigned in Germany from 12 to 9 B.C. 

14-15. adsereret, reclaim, rescue. 

15. Studiosiy genitive singular. 
The Student. Two of the many 
Roman works on the education of the 
orator-statesman are extant: Cicero's 
De Orator e, and Quintilian's Institutio 

17. Dubii sermonisy Dubious Usage 
— the name of a grammatical work. 

17-18. novissimis annis, in the last 
years of Nero's reign. 

19. servitus, the enslavement (of the 
Romans) — i.e., Nero's tyranny. A 
finej from the end of, a continuation of. 


Notes: Pliny (Letters) 

Aufidius BassuSy the author of a his- 
tory which perhaps covered the reigns 
of Augustus and Tiberius. 
24. aliquamdiu, in his youth. 

26. qua . . . qua, hoth . . . and. 

27. erat [ei], he had. studium, 
studiousness. vigilantia, wakefulness, 
ability to go without sleep. 

28. Lucubrare, to burn the midnight 
oil. Vulcanalibus, on the festival of 
Vulcan (August 23). He ended his 
summer vacation and began his busy 
season on that date, auspicandi 
causa, for the good omen^s sake, for 
good luck. Evidently the festival of 
Vulcan was popularly regarded as a 
lucky day for beginning an under- 

29. statim a nocte multa, late 
at night, with lucubrare. Roman 
students did not sit up late; instead 
they got up early, septima, the 
seventh hour of the night (1:00 a.m.). 

30. octava, 2:00 a.m. sexta, mid- 
night, somni, a descriptive genitive 
— i.e., he was a man of. 

31. instantis, coming on him, agrees 
with somni. He took catnaps during 
his work. 

33. delegatum, i.e., by Vespasian. 

34. officium, task. The Emperor's 
commissions seem to have varied from 
day to day. 

34-35. quod [erat] reliquiun tempo- 
ris, the object of reddebat (gave, spent). 

35. cibum, late breakfast or early 

41. dormiebat, his midday rest, or 
siesta. Note that by this time he has 
already put in a full twelve-hour day! 

42. Super banc, during dinner. 

43. quendam ex amicis, a dinner 

44. lector, a slave, quaedam, sup- 
ply verba. 

47. decern . . . versus, more than ten 

49. luce, before dark, mtra pri- 
mam noctis, just after dark. He then 

went right to bed and slept till mid- 
night — four or five hours in all. 

50. Haec, neuter plural accusative, 
supply fecit (or egit). 

51". In secessu, during his vacation 
{in the country). 

52. interioribus, the inner part (or 
rooms) — when he was actually in the 
water (e.g., the hot room, the cold 
plunge, etc.). 

54. huic uni [curae], i.e., making 
excerpts from his reading, ad latus, 
by his side. 

55. manus, nominative plural, ma- 
nicis, gloves, mittens. 

57. Romae, locative. 

58. Repeto, / recall, cur ambu- 
larem, for walking. Had he ridden in 
a litter, he could have employed his 
time usefully while riding. 

59. omne tempus, the subject of 

60-61. intentione, concentration. 

61. peregit, carried to completion. 
His literary output consisted of seven 
works in one hundred and five 
volumina, or "rolls" (cf. 11. 6-21). 
electonim . . . , one hundred and sixty 
notebooks (or commonplace books) of 
extracts. Like the regular published 
books, these were also rolls; but they 
were written on both sides of the 
paper in a very fine hand, and would 
therefore be equivalent to about four 
times as many ordinary book rolls. 

62. opistho-graphos (Greek), 
written on the back. 

64. Referebat, used to say. cum 
procuraret, when he was procurator — 
i.e., comptroller of the revenue. 

66. nummum, genitive plural, ses- 
terces, pauciores, there were not yet 
one hundred and sixty rolls. 

68. tantiun, only — i.e., am I the 
only one who seems to have accomplished 
little, as compared ui,th him? 

69. These are Pliny's excuses tor 
having accomplished so little. 

70. adsident, devote themselves to. 

Notes: Pliny (Letters) 


72. cum, although. quod requi- 
rebas, viz., guos libros reliquisset. 

73. haec, these facts (or details). 
76. elaborandum, accomplishing. 


2. tradere posteris, i.e., in his 
Histories — but that portion of the 
work is now lost. 

5-6. ut populi . . . victurus, like 
peoples and cities, he will live forever, 
so to speak, because of the fame of the 
catastrophe — i.e., just as Pompeii and 
Herculaneum will never be forgotten, 
so he will be famous for having 
perished in the eruption of Vesuvius. 

6. opera, i.e., literary. 

9. scribenda, deeds worth writing 

10. utrumque, supply datum est. 

12. deposco, claim as my right or 

13. Erat, {my uncle) was at Mise- 
num — a naval station at the extreme 
northwest corner of the Bay of 
Naples, about ten miles west of 
Naples and twenty miles west of 
Mt. Vesuvius, imperio, with full 
authority, praesens, in person. 

14. septima, about 1 :30 p.m. mater 
mea, Pliny the Elder's sister. 

15. magnitudine . . . , an ablative 
of description. 

16. Usus sole, having taken his sun 
bath (cf. Letter [28], 11. 35-37). 

17. soleas, slippers, sandals. 

18. incertum, supply erat. procul, 
with intuentibus,from a distance — e.g., 
from Misenum, where Pliny was. 

19. ex quo monte, this is an indirect 

21. pinus, trees have distinctive 
shapes ; thus the Italian pine bears no 
resemblance to ours, but looks — from 
a distance — like a long-stemmed 
mushroom with a round, flat top. 

22. quibusdam, velut, so to speak. 
22-24. credo . • . vanescebat, 

Pliny's explanation of the phenome- 
non is essentially correct. 

23. spiritu, blast, evecta, agrees 
with the subject (nubes) . senescente 
60 destituta, lit., deserted by it (the 
blast) failing — i.e., left hanging in the 

24. victa, overcome — i.e., halted in 

26-27. Magnum . . . visum, [ei], ut 
(as being) eruditissimo viro, visum [est] 
magnum {important) . noscendum, 
worth investigating. 

27. Liburnicam, launch — which was 
small and swift. 

28. facit copiam, offers a place in 
the launch. 

29. forte, from fors. quod scri- 
berem, a composition exercise. 

29-30. Egrediebatur . . . , just as he 
was going out, he received. 

30. codicillos, a note — hastily writ- 
ten on wax tablets. Rectinae Tasci, 
of {or from) Rectina, wife of Tascus. 

31. subiacebat, supply Vesuvio. 

32. se, her. orabat, she begged. 

33. quod, that which, studioso, 
scholarly, scientific, maximo [animo], 
with energy. He immediately recog- 
nizes the seriousness of the situation. 

35. frequens, thickly settled. 
amoenitas orae, amoena ora — a poetic 

36-37. recta gubernacula, straight 

38. motus, accusative plural, mali, 
noun, terrifying phenomenon . figuras, 
shapes — e.g., of the clouds, ut, qao- 

40. quo propius, the nearer. This 
does not express purpose. 

41-42. vadum . . . . , lit., {there was) 
a sudden shoal — and because of a 
landslide from the mountain, {new) 
shores blocking his way. 

43-44. ut . . . monenti, warning him 
to do so (i.e., turn back). 

44. Pomponianimi, a friend of 
Pliny's (not the name of a place). 


Notes: Pliny (Letters) 

45. Stabiis erat, he (Pomponianus) 
was at Stabiae. diremptus sinu me- 
dio, separated (from him) hy the inter- 
vening hay (or the hay which lies he- 

45-46. nam . . . inftmditur, Pliny 
explains that Stabiae (and other 
places mentioned) are situated on a 
bay (the Bay of Naples) . This bay is 
much more famous nowadays, be- 
cause Naples has become a metropolis 
and one of the world's great ports. 

47-48. conspicuo, proximo, these 
both parallel appropinquante: (the 
danger heing) conspicuous^ and very 

49. cextviSyresolvedon. ventus..., 
a gale from the Northwest kept them 
from rowing or sailing out of the bay. 
Qu6, thither. 

50. secundissimo invectus, sailing 
with the wind, complectitur, supply 
Pomponianum . 

51. ut-que, this expresses purpose, 
eius, of Pomponianus. sua, his own 
(Pliny the Elder's). 

52. deferri iubet, he requests that 
he he taken. Fearless himself, Pliny 
the Elder tries to cheer up everyone 
else; he dines with a cheerful de- 
meanor that is equally effective, 
whether genuine or feigned. 

55-58. flammae . . . , these were the 
flames from the lava and gases of the 
actual eruption. To calm his friends' 
fears (m remedium formidinis) , Pliny 
tried to convince them that only care- 
lessly abandoned villas were burning 
on the mountain. 

59-61. His snoring was heard by 
those who were waiting at the door. 

60. amplitudinem, he was fat. 

62. area, courtyard, patio. 

62-63. ita surrexerat, had risen to 
such a level. 

63. mora, supply esset. 

64. procedit, the subject is Pliny 
the Elder. 

64-65. se reddit, joined. 

66. intra tecta, within the house. 

67-68. et quasi . . . , this is a de- 
scription of the imdulatory motion of 
the earthquake. 

69. exesorum, porous. 

70. quod, the latter course — i.e. 
(lit.), a comparison of dangers chose the 
latter course. 

71. apud ilium, in his case. 

72. Cervicalia, pillows. lintels, 

75. solabantur, relieved. Placuit, 
they decided. 

1^-11. ecquid . . . admitteret, Ht., 
whether the sea allowed anything — i.e., 
whether they could navigate. 

77. quod, (but) it. 

78. linteum, sail. 

82. concidit, fell dead. Bein^ fat 
and asthmatic, he was quickly as- 
phyxiated by gases that did not prove 
fatal to livelier members of his 

82-83. caligine spiritu obstnicto, 
his hreathing heing obstructed hy the gas. 

83. stomacho, throat. 

84. aestuans, inflamed, dies, day- 

85. is . . . , ^s [erat] tertius [dies] ah 
eo [die]. The darkness lasted for 
forty-eight hours. 

86. ut . . . indutus, just as he had 
been dressed. His clothes were not 
burned, there having been no flames — 
only gas. habitus, noun, posture. 

88. Miseni, locative, ad historiam, 
supply attinet. 

89. exitu, death. 

90-92. me persecutiun, that I have 

90. quibus interfueram, which I 

91. statim, immediately after the 
event — before the story had a chance 
to grow. 

93. amico, for a friend. 

Notes: Pliny (Letters) 



2. exigent!, enquiring. 

3. id ingressus, having reached that 

3-4. quos metus, what fears. 

4-5. "Quamquam . . . ," this is 
quoted in part from the Aeneid (II, 

6. Profecto, a participle, an abla- 
tive absolute. 

12. excitaturus, a future participle, 
expresses purpose, supply her as the 
object, area., front yard. 

12-13. quae . . . , the front yard lay 
between the ocean and the villa. 

13-14. Duhito [utrum] deheam con- 
stantiam [id] vocare an imprudentiam. 
One might call it priggishness! 

16. Ecce, equivalent to a verb: 
suddenly there appears. 

17. ut, when, as soon as. 

18. illius, her. 

19. corripit, scolds, upbraids. The 
excitable Spanish gentleman loses his 
head and raves at those who are 
keeping cool. 

20. intentus, adjective, supply sum. 

21. languidus dies, sickly light. 

22. tectis, buildings. 

23. metus, danger, visiun [est no- 
bis], we decided. 

24. vulgus attonitum, nominative. 
quodque, and that which, simile, 
supply est. 

25. alienum, aliorum, here nostrum. 

26. abetmtis, supply nos. 

29. agebantur, rolled — because the 
earth was heaving and undulating. 

32. processerat litus, the shore line 
had moved far out. 

34. spiritus, genitive, gas. 

35. tortis vibratisque discursibus, 
serpentine gusts. 

37. acrius, with inquit. 

38. tuus, tuus, the first of these is 
addressed to Pliny's mother, the sec- 
ond to Pliny himself. 

39. superstites, supply esse vos. 

40-41. commissures ut nostrae 
[saluti] consuleremus, be guilty of 
thinking of our own safety. 

41. nos, the subject of commissuros. 
incerti, nominative plural. 

42. periculo aufertur, a (or ex) 
periculo fertur. 

43. descendere, operire, descendit, 

44-45. Miseni . . . , [nubes] abs~ 
tulerat [id] Miseni quod procurrit 
(i.e., the tip). 

45. orare, hortari, iubere, these are 
all narrative infinitives; orat, hortatur, 
iubet [ut]. 

46. posse iuvenam, [me] iuvenem 
posse [fugere]. se, she. 

46-47. posse . . . fuisset, this is in- 
direct discourse, depends on the idea 
of speaking in orare, hortari, iubere. 
corpore gravem, like her brother, she 
was corpulent. 

48. Ego, supply dixi. 

49. gradum, speed. 

51. tergis, supply nostris. 

52. torrentis, noun, terrae, dative. 

53. dum videmus, while we can see 
— before it gets dark, ne, for fear 
lest, strati, knocked down. 

55. Vix . . . et, Latin says scarcely 
. . . and, English scarcely . . . when. 
consideramus, consider doing so, de- 
bate the question, nox, supply est. 

59. suorum, of their dear ones, of 
their family; supply casum. 

61. tollere, a narrative infinitive, 
nusquam, supply esse. 

62. noctem, supply esse, mundo, 
for (or of) the world. 

64-65. Miseni . . . ardere, this is 
indirect discourse, depends on nuntia- 
bant. Miseni illud . . . illud, this or 
that building at Misenum. 

65. falso, adverb. 

67. longius, at some distance. 

68. Hunc, cinem. 

70. oblisi (from obltdo), crushed. 

71. parum fortem, ignavam. 
72-73. nisi . . . credldissem, he ad- 


Notes: Pliny (Letters) 

mits that his thoughts were pessimis- 
tic. He was sure he would be killed 
and consoled himself with the reflec- 
tion that he would not be the only one. 
Nisi means although. 

76-77. Occursabant oculis omnia, 
everything met our eyes. 

78. curatis corporibus, having cared 
for our persons, having refreshed our- 
selves — i.e., bathed, etc. They were 
badly in need of baths, which were 
hard to get. 

80-82. plerique . . . ludificabantur, 
many people, crazed (or hysterical), 
mocked at their own and others' suffer- 
ings with terrible forebodings. 

85. non scrip turus, lit., nA)t in order 
to write — ^i.e., use as literary material. 


2-4. esse phantasmata putes, 

whether you think there are (i.e., 
you believe in) apparitions. 

■ 3. nimien, e.g., in indicating future 

5. ducor, governs the clause ut 
credam [phantasmata] esse, eo . . . 
quod, by that which. 

7-8. Being still poor and humble, 
Curtius Rufus had joined the retinue 
of the Governor of Africa — lit., had 
clung as a follower to the man holding 

9-10. Perterrito [Curtio] dixit se 
[esse] ''Africam." 

10-11. iturtun, gesturum, these are 
future infinitives. 

11. honores, political offices. 

13. accedenti, supply Curtio, da- 
tive. This happened when he re- 
turned to Africa as governor in his 
old age — as had been predicted. 

15-16. futura praeteritis auguratus, 
auguring the future from the past. 

16. salutis, recovery — from his ill- 

18. illud, the following. 

20. pestilens, fatal — to its occu- 
pants (cf. 11. 25-27). 

21. ferri, of iron, strepitus, rat- 

23. idolon (Greek), nominative, the 

25. inhabitantibus, inmates (or oc- 
cupants) of the house. 

29. longior erat, lasted longer than. 

30. damnata . . . domus, the house 
was condemned to solitude, illi, da- 
tive, with monstro. 

31. proscribebatur, it was placarded 
(or advertised), seu quis, on the 
chance that someone. 

33. Athenodorus, were he living 
today, he would be a member of the 
Society for Psychical Research, titu- 
Iimi, placard, ^^for rent'' sign. 

34. suspecta [fuit], was suspicious. 

36. sterni sibi, his bed to be made. 
prima, front. 

37. SUDS, his servants. 
39. audita, reported. 

40-44. concuti . . . audiri, all these 
are narrative infinitives. 

41. ille, Athenodorus. 

42. praetendere, close, stop up. 

45. Stabat, the subject is effigies, 
the apparition. Hie, Athenodorus. 

46. exspectaret, the subject is ef- 

47. ceris, pugillaribus (cf. 1. 37). 
Ilia, it (the ghost, effigies), scriben- 
tis, supply Athenodori. 

48. Respicit, (Athenodorus) looked 
up and saw (the ghost) . idem innuen- 
tem, making the same sign. 

51. comitem, Athenodorus. 

52. signum, as a marker. 

54-55. corpus . . . , rotting away, 
the flesh had left the bones. 

56. sepeliuntur, the subject is ossa. 
conditis, laid. 

58. illud, the following. 

60. minor, younger. 

60-61. Is . . . cernere, he dreamed he 

64. medivmi [fuit], intervened. 

64-65. simile aliud, another similar 

Notes: Pliny (Letters) 


65. fidem fecit, corroborated^ sub- 

67. qua, i.e., by the window. 

69. reus, accused — of treason, fu- 
turus, as I surely would have been. 
Domitian exercised his tyranny by 
putting honest men to death on 
trumped-up charges, and confiscating 
their property. 

71. scrinio, desk — examined after 
his death, datus . . . libellus, an in- 
dictment against me drawn wp by 
Carus — a notorious spy and informer. 

72. moris, customary, summittere, 
let grow long. 

73-74. recisos . . . , lit., the shorn 
hair was a sign of averted peril. 

77. copiam . . . facias, bestow your 
knowledge. Licet, although. 

78. ex altera [parte\y on one side, 
supply disputa. Sura's was evidently 
the scholarly and judicial type of 


1. materiam, (literary) material. 

2. isto, your. 

3. super, during. 

4. miracula, marvellous stories. 
hinc inde, back and forth — across the 
table, auctori [est], auctor habet, the 
teller has. 

5. poetae [est], has a poet to do? 
Is ... , talis [est] avx^tor, he is the kind 
of story-teller. 

7. Hipponensis colonia, the town of 

8. stagnum, lake, cove. 

9. aestus, the subject, tide. 
10-11. Omnis aetas, the townsfolk 

of all ages. 

12. pueri, nominative plural, paral- 
lels aetas (1. 11). 

13. virtus, supply est. provehi, an 
infinitive, used as noun, to swim out. 

14. ut . . . ita, not only . . . but also. 
simul natantes, fellow swimmers. 

16. praecedere, a narrative infini- 
tive, puerum, the object of praece- 

dere and the six narrative infinitives 
that follow (sequi, circumire, subire, 
deponere, subire, and perferre). 

18. trepidantem, agrees with the 
object {puerum). 

20. omnes, the subject of all the 
following narrative infinitives (11. 21- 

22. narrare, talk about. 

25. invitet, supply puerum. 

26. implicitat expeditque, winds 
and unwinds, curves and uncurves. 

27. Hoc, supply /aciwm est. 
27-28. homines subiret timendi 

pudor, lit., shame of being afraid 
entered men. 

28. Accedunt . . . , the object is 

29-30. praebentem, the volunteer 
(the dolphin). 
31. adnatantis, supply delphini. 

33. huius, the boy. mansuetudo, 

34. Nee non, also. 

36. tantimi, merely. 

37. ilium, supply delphinum. ut, 
just as. 

38. puerum, supply ducebant. ta- 
men, supply est. 

39. gestatorem conlusoremque pu- 
erorum, qui pueros gestavit (carried) 
eisque conlusit — i.e., the original 
sportive dolphin, not the second one 
who acted as escort. 

40. solitum [esse], this is indirect 
discourse, depends on the idea of 
thinking in incredibile (1. 38). 

43. educto [delphino], dative, de- 
pends on super-. 

43-44. cuius . . . refugisse, in di- 
rect discourse this would be: cuius 
novitatem odoremque ille refugit. 

44. novitatem odoremque, novum 
odorem. in alttmi, in mure, nee nisi, 
and only. 

47. magistratus, all the magistrates 
of the province. 

60. Placuit, it was decided, inter- 
fici, supply id (the dolphin) as the 


Notes: Pliny (Letters) 

subject, coibatur, this is impersonal: 
people gathered. 

52. opus {ut\ need that. 


Selections From the Correspondence 
with Trajan 


[a] 4. aliis super alia, repeated, 


[a] 3. libellum, written petition. 
indulgentiam, supply tuam. statu, 
civil status. 

[h] 4. Libellum rescript!, a copy of 
the document. 


[a] 1. SoUemne, customary. 

3. cunctationem regere, guide my 
hesitating steps — ^said with excessive 

5. Cognitionibus, trials. 

6. quid puniri soleat, what is usually 
punished. Having no precedents to 
follow, Pliny's inability to act on his 
own initiative is painful. 

7. -ne ... an, whether . . . or. The 
second double question (11. 8-9) and 
the third (1. 10) omit -ne. aetatum, 
between young and old. 

8. quamlibet teneri, even the most 
tender (the youngest), differant, dif- 
fer, he treated differently. 

8-9. paenitentiae, lit., to repentance 
— i.e., to those who repent. 

9. ei, for him (or one) . omnino, at 
all — i.e., at any time, ever, desisse 
(from desino), to have ceased {to be a 
Christian), an infinitive used as noun, 
the subject of prosit. 

10. nomen, the name (of) Christian 
— i.e., merely being a Christian, the 
profession of Christianity. 

11. in iis, in the case of those. 

13. confitentes, accusative plural, 
the object of interrogavi (1.14). 

14. duci iussi, / ordered to he 
punished, I found guilty. 

18-19. ipso tractatu, hy the very 
handling {of the case) — ^i.e., because of 
the publicity. 

19. diffundente se crimine, an 
ablative abolsute, the charge extending 
itself — over a wider area or to more 
people, species, types of cases. 

20. libellus sine auctore, an anony- 
mous hrief. 

22. cum, inasmuch as. praeeunte 
me, an ablative absolute, at my dicta- 

26. dimittendos, ocgm«erf. indice, 
an informer. 

29. non nemo, one. 

32. stmimam, noun. 

33. quod, that, state die, perhaps 

33-34. carmen dicere, sing a hymn, 
or perhaps recite a sacred formula. 

35. non in scelus aliquod, not to 
some ahomination. It was commonly 
charged that in their secret meetings 
the Christians, like the Jews, prac- 
ticed cannibalism. 

35-37. sed . . . abnegarent, these 
clauses echo the ten commandments. 

37. appellati, when called on (or 
asked) — i.e., when the depositor re- 
quested his funds. 

38. promiscuum, ordinary. The 
charge of cannibalism is again denied. 

39. desisse, they had ceased. 

40. secundum, a preposition, he- 
taerias (Greek), fraternities, assodor- 
tions. All gatherings were forbidden, 
because some had been centers of 
political conspiracy. 

42. ministrae, probably deaconesses 
in the church, et, even. 

43. He found no evidence of any- 
thing political. 

48. civitates, cities. 

49. superstitionis, with contagio. 

Notes: Juvenal (Satira III) 


50. quae ...» quae {ut videtur) 

"potest sisti. 

51-52. Since the vigorous prosecu- 
tion of the Christians, there has been 
a reversion to paganism. 

52-53. pastum victimariun, fodder 
for sacrificial animals. The provi- 
sion of fodder for this purpose was 
an important local trade, venire, 
from ven^eo. 

[b] 1. Actum, noun, procedure. 

3. in universimi, an adverbial 
phrase, on the whole, in general. 
aliquid, any policy. 

4. certam, definite, specific. 

4-5. Conquirendi, the Christians 
are not to be hunted down (or perse- 
cuted). The tradition of the Church 
to the effect that there was a general 
persecution under Trajan is false. 

10. pessimi exempli, lit., of had 

11. nostri saeculi, characteristic of 
our era — as contrasted with the 
tyrannical dynasties that had gone 
before (e.g., those of Nero, Domi- 
tian, etc.). 


1. confusus, troubled, amici, Um- 
bricius (Mr, Take-It-Easy) — ^whose 
diatribe against Rome begins in 1. 21. 

2. sedem, his abode. Cimiis, loca- 

3. He is becoming a citizen of 
Cumae — city of the Sibyl. 

4. lanua, Cimiae is the gate to 
Baiae (a famous seashore resort). 

5. secessus, genitive, seclusion. 
Prochytam, a small island near Cu- 
mae. Subura, this was the worst dis- 
trict in the city of Rome — the 
crowded slums. 

6. quid, what place? 

7-9. horrere . . . poetas, these were 
typical drawbacks of life in Rome. 

10. domus, household goods. Um- 
bricius is a poor man. reda, wagon. 

11. substitit, the subject is Um- 
bricius. arcus . . . Capenam, the 
arches of the Porta Capena — the gate 
by which the Appian Way left 
Rome. It was called dripping be- 
cause an aqueduct passed over it. 

12. Numa, according to legend. 
King Numa used to meet the wise 
nymph Egeria in a grotto just beyond 
this gate. 

13. nunc, it is to Rome's discredit 
that the grove and grotto had not 
been made national monuments; but 
were instead let out to Jews, and have 
now become a sort of ghetto. 

14. quonim . . . supellex, whose 
{complete) equipment is a basket and 
hay. They were probably peddlers. 

15. populo . . . pendere, to pay its 
toll to the people. The city govern- 
ment is so mercenary that it rents out 
the parks. 

16. eiectis . . . Camenis, a grove 
near the Porta Capena. Formerly 
sacred to the Muses, it was now dese- 

17-18. speluncas dissimiles veris, 
artificial grottoes. 

18. praesentius, more convincing (or 
genuine) . 

20. herba, natural herbage, to- 
fum, tufa — the native stone of which 
primitive Rome was built. 

23. res, my property, here, yester- 
day, eadem, it (the same property). 

24. deteret . . . aliquid, urill dimin- 
ish somewhat from its scanty total. 

25. ubi, at Cumae. 

26. nova, (is still) new. 

27. quod torqueat, (some thread of 
my life) to twirl. 

28. bacillo, staff. 

29-30. Artorius, Catulus, these men 
are unknown. 

31. quis, quibus, dative, aedem 
conducere, to contract for (the building 
of) a temple — in which there is money 


Notes: Juvenal (Satira III) 

to be made by graft, flumina, por- 
tus {conducere\j to contract for {collecting 
the tolls of) rivers and harbors — i.e., 
to be a publican. These professions 
are all lucrative, but none too repu- 

32. siccandam eluviem, /or cleaning 
out sewers — i.e., to be a ''honey 
dipper." busta, tomb. 

33. caput, a human being, domina 
sub hasta, under the avx^tioneer's spear 
— i.e., to be a slavemonger. The 
place of auction was marked by a 
standing spear. 

34. hi, the men previously men- 
tioned (11. 30-33) . They began life as 
"puff cheeks" {bvA^cae), or horn- 
blowers, in a traveling gladiatorial 
show that toured the country towns 
(municipia) . 

36. munera, gladiatorial shou)s. 
They are now rich, and give shows to 
the populace, verso pollice, prob- 
ably the gesture known today as 
thumbs down. 

37. populariter, vrith popular ap- 

38. foricas, public privies^ comfort 
stations, omnia, anything. 

38-39. cum sint quales, since they 
are the sort of men whom. 

40. extoUit, the subject is Fortuna. 
42-43. motus astrorum, astrology. 

43. promittere, to a spendthrift son 
who hopes soon to inherit his father's 

44. ranarum, of frogs. This was a 
bizarre and novel method of prognos- 

45. quae mittit, gifts. 

46. quae mandat, messages. 

47. nulli comes exec, / go abroad 
as adjutant to no (provincial governor) 
— as Catullus went to Bithynia with 

48. An honest man is as useless as a 
cripple — to crooks. 

49. consciuSi accomplice in crim£. 

49-50. f ervens aestuat, seethes with 


54-57. The moral is: DorCt be a 

54-55. Tanti . . . aunmi, let not the 
gold-bearing sands of the tree-shaded 
Tagus be worth so much {tanti) to you. 

56. ponenda, lit., which must be 
given up again — i.e., which is liable to 
be lost again, 

57. tristis, the effect of ponenda. 
68. gens, race. 

59. fugiam, in giving up his resi- 
dence in Rome. 

61. quamvis . . . Achaei, and yet how 
small a portion of the dregs are real 
Greeks. Ac/lae^ is nominative. Rome 
received the dregs of the Near East — 
the Hellenistic world. 

63-64. chordas obliquas, the sam- 
buca — a harp with slanting strings. 

65. ad circimi, the lowest brothels 
in Rome were at the Circus Maximus. 

66. lupa, harlot, mitra, turban. 

67. Rusticus ille tuus, your honest 
Italian yokel, trechedipna, dinner 
shoes. This is a gay Greek touch. 

68. ceromatico, niceteria, fashion- 
able Greek terms used in the beauty 
parlors of Rome are ridiculed here; 
their modern equivalents would be 
French. Ceromu was a salve, or 
cream; niceteria (originally medals) 
were probably jewelry. 

69-70. Sicyone, Amydone, Andro, 
Same, Trallibus, Alabandis, these are 
all ablative absolutes, with relictd (or 
relictis) . Sicyon was a city of Greece 
proper; Amydon, a city of Macedonia; 
Andros and Samos, islands of the 
Aegean Sea; Tralles and Alabanda^ 
cities of Asia Minor. 

71. Esquilias, vimine collem, the 
Esquiline and the Viminal, respec- 
tively — two of the seven hills of Rome 

72. viscera, as the indispensable 
members — a bold metaphor for the 
insinuating parasite, domini futuri, 
nominative plural. 

Notes: Juvenal (Satira III) 


73. Supply Graeeis est — i.e., the 
Greeks have. 

74. Ede, declare. Ulum, the typi- 
cal Greek. 

75. secmn, English would say: in 
himself, in his person. He is ready 
to turn to anything — a Jack-of-all- 

76. aliptes, trainer, rubber. 

77. schoenobates, tight-rope walker. 

78. iusseris, should you bid him. 

80. Daedalus. 

81. conchylia, gaudy garments. 

82. signabit, i.e., as witness to 
documents, tore meliore, in the 
place of honor at dinner. 

83. advectus, who sailed to. quo 
. , . vento, with the same wind as our 
damsons and figs — coming from the 

84. Usque adeo nihil, su^h a trifle, 
so insignificant, nostra, mea. 

85. hausit, breathed, bacca, olive. 

86. Quid quod, what of the fact that? 
88. longum, thin, aequat, likens. 

90. nee, not even. 

91. marito, the cock. 

93-94. An melior comoedus, or is 
the comic actor any better (than the 
average Greek)? 

93. Thaida sustinet, plays the part 
of a courtesan. 

94. Dorida, a maidservant. 

94-95. nuUo cultam palliolo, wear- 
ing no dress — but only a smock. 
Juvenal emphasizes the excellence, 
not the effeminacy, of the acting; for 
as in Shakespeare's time, female parts 
were acted by boys. 

96. persona, actor. 

96-97. vacua . . . rima, i.e., you 
would swear the actor was a real 

98-99. Antiochus, Stratocles, De- 
metrius, Haemus, these were fom* 
famous Greek actors on the Roman 
stage. In their own country (illtc) 
they would not be remarkable. 

101. concutitur, the subject is the 


103. accipit endromidem, he puts 
on an ulster. 

106. iactare manus, a gesture of 

108. trulla, pot. 

109. ab inguine, from his lust. 
111. levis, beardless. 

114. coepit, has begun {to be made). 
114-115. trans! gymnasia, pass on 

to the schools — where the philosophers 

115. maioris aboUae, of a greater 

116. This is an allusion to the no- 
torious case of P. Egnatius Celer. 
Born either in Phoenicia or CiMcia, he 
professed the high moral doctrines of 
Stoicism in Rome; but treacherously 
accused Berea of treason under Nero, 
in 66 A.D. 

118. pinna, feather. Gorgonei ca- 
balli, Pegasus. The place should 
therefore be Tarsus, but there is some 

121. gentis vitio, in accordance with 
his national defect. 

123. exiguiun, a drop, naturae 
patriaeque, belonging to his character 
and his country. 

124. perienmt tempora, wasted are 
the years. The Roman courtier is 
supplanted by the cleverer and more 
unscrupulous Greek. 

125. nusquam . . . , nowhere is a 
client less missed (than at Rome) . 

126-127. Quod oflaciimi, quod 
meritum, whatare the services or what is 
the reward? This is a rhetorical 
question — the answer being nil. 

127. si, even if. nocte, before day- 
light — so as to arrive at dawn. 

129. vigilantibus orbis, the childless 
old ladies (Albina and Modia) being 
awake — and expecting their courtiers. 

131. servi claudit latus, servum 
deduct, escorts a slave (cf . Horace, On 


Notes: Juvenal (Satira III) 

Toadying as a Fine Art; p. 64, 11. 17- 

131-132. ingenuorum filius, simply 
ingenuus, one born of free parents. 

133. Calvinae, Catienae, these were 
highborn ladies who had their price — 
and a high one at that! 

135. vestiti, gaily decked, bedizened. 
135-136. haeres et dubitas, because 

of the expense — though it was not 

136. alta deducere sella, to fetch her 
out of her lofty sedan chair. 

137. Da testem, produce as your 
witness, tarn sanctum quam, some- 
one as righteous as. 

137-138. hospes . . . Idaei, welcomer 
of the Idaean goddess — i.e., Scipio 
Nasica, who was appointed to receive 
the image of Cybele, in 204 B.C. 

138. procedat . , , , or let Numa 
come forward (as your witness), qui, 
L. CaeciHus Metellus— in 241 B.C. 

140. protinus ad censum [itur], 
(one comes) immediately to the question 
of financial standing, moribus, the 
character — of the witness. 

142. quam . . . paropside, lit., from 
how many and how large dishesf 

144. tantum habet et fidei, su<ih is 
the measure also of his credibility — as a 
witness, licet, though. Samothra- 
cuin [deorum]j these were the reputed 
avengers of perjury. 

145. fulmina, Jove's avenging 
thunderbolts. The theory that a 
poor man may connive with the gods 
in committing perjury is a cynical ex- 
cuse for not believing his testimony. 

148. hie idem, the poor man. 
lacema, cloak. 

149. calceus, shoe. 

149-150. rupta pelle, an ablative 
absolute, the leather being split. 

150. consuto, sewed together, mend- 
ed, crassum, coarse. 

151. non una cicatrix, more than one 

153. inquit, says someone — who is 

making sarcastic and audible re- 
marks on the presence of a poor man 
in the theater seats reserved for 

154. si pudor est, if he has any 
sense of shame, pulvino, cushion. 

155. res, property. 

156. fomice, brothel. 

157. nitidi, sleek, prosperous. 

158. pinnirapi, of a gladiator, cul- 
tos iuvenes, well-groomed sons, lanis- 
tae, of a trainer of gladiators. 

159. Ubitum [est], in 67 B.C. the 
tribune L. Roscius Otho passed the 
lex Roscia theatralis, giving the first 
fourteen rows back of the orchestra to 
the knights. 

160. gener placuit, is approved as a 
son-in-law. censu minor, if poorer. 

160-161. puellae . . . impar, Ut., 
unequal to the girl's chattels. 

162. in consilio, consiliarvas, ad- 
viser. Agmine facto, in a body. 

163. tenues, poor. 

165. res angusta, poverty. 

166. magno [est], costs a lot. hos- 
pitium, lodging. 

167. frugi cenula, a modest repast. 

168. Fictilibus, from earthenware 
dishes, pudet, one is ashamed — in 
Rome, quod turpe negabit, yet one 
mil deny it is shameful. 

169. translatus, if translated. 

170. contentus, (one will he) content. 
veneto . . , cucuUo, with a rough Vene- 
tian hood. 

172-174. Ipsa diertmi festorum 
maiestas, the glorious holiday. 

174. pulpita, stage. 

175. exodium, /arce. personaehi- 
atimi, gaping mouth of the mask. 

177. habitus, dress. 

178. orchestram, the orchestra was 
occupied by the local aristocracy, 
corresponding to the senators at 
Rome, clari velamen honoris, as 
garb of high office. 

180. Hie, in Rome, ultra . . . 

Notes: Juvenal (Satira III) 


nitor, the splendor of our dress is be- 
yond our means. 

184. das, i.e., tips to the servants. 

185. Veiento, nominative, clauso 
labello, without saying a word. 

186. lUe metit barbam, a young 
lord celebrates the cutting of his first 
beard — and the poor man is invited to 
the party, crinem hie deponit amati, 
another dedicates the locks of a favorite 
{slave) — i.e., he gives a party for a 
handsome slave boy, whose hair is to 
be cut. 

187. lihumf cake. venalihuSj which 
have to he paid for — indirectly, through 
tips to the servants. 

187-188. accipe . . . habe, take your 
money and keep your cake — says the 
angry guest to the greedy servant. 

189. cultis . . . servis, to add to the 
savings of well-kept slaves. 

190-192. Praeneste, Volsinii, Ga- 
bii, Tibur, these are sleepy old Italian 

190. niinam, falling buildings. 

192. proni, sloping — on the hillside. 

193. tibicine, prop. The ram- 
shackle houses of the poor were in a 
constant state of near-collapse. 

194. obstat, takes remedies against. 

195. vilicus, landlord's agent, tex- 
it, has patched. 

196. iubet, supply the inmates as the 
object, pendente, an ablative abso- 
lute, being imminent. 

197. Vivendum, it is better to liv(B. 

198. frivola, his paltry possessions. 

199. Ucalegon, living on the ground 
floor of a Roman insula, or apartment 
house, six stories high, tabulata, 
story — of a house. 

200. tu, in the garret, trepidatur, 
there is an alarm. 

201. tegula, the tile roof. 

202. reddunt, lay. 

203. Lectus . . . Codro, Codrus had 
a bed. Codrus is the typical poor 
scholar. Procula minor, smaller than ' 

(i.e., too small for) Procula (a famous 
dwarf), urceoli, little mugs. 

204. ornamenttim abaci, the adorn- 
ment of (i.e., displayed on) his side- 
board, nee non et, and also, infra, 
underneath — on the lower shelf. His 
sideboard was so tiny that it would 
just hold these few small objects above 
and below. 

205. cantharus, tankard. mar- 
more, the top shelf of the little side- 
board was a marble slab. Chiron, a 
centaur — i.e., a dish or an ornament 
in the shape of a centaur. 

206. cista, chest. 

207. opiei, boorish — because they 
had no respect for Greek literature. 

209. perdidit, in a fire. 

209-210. ultimus cumulus, last 

210. nudum . . . , the fire reduced 
him to beggary, frusta, crumbs. 

212. Asturicus, a nabob — just the 
opposite of Codrus. ceeidit, is burned 
to the ground. 

212-213. horrida . . . praetor, 
matrons disheveled, leading citizens in 
black, the judge adjourns court! The 
social leaders of Rome vied with one 
another in their extravagant expres- 
sions of sympathy. Disheveled hair 
was a sign of women's mourning. 

214. casus, accusative plural. 

215. Ardet, the subject is the house. 
215-220. The friends of Asturicus 

vied with each other in presenting 
costly gifts to replace his losses. 

216. impensas, building materials. 
signa, statues. 

217. Euphranor, Polyclitus, these 
were famous Greek sculptors. 

218. A lady friend presents works 
of art from Asiatic temples. 

219. forulos, bookcases, mediam 
Minervam, half a (i.e., a b^ist of) 
Minerva — for the library. 

220. moditmi argenti, a peck of 
silver plate. 

221. Persicus, another rich man — 


Notes: Juvenal (Satira III) 

whose house has also burned down, 
orborum lautissimus, most luxurious 
of bachelors. 

223. circensibus, i.e., from the at- 
tractions and diversions of Rome. 

224. paratur, is bought. 

225. quanti tenebras conducis, at 
the same price at which you rent a 
dark hole. 

226. hie, in the country, puteus 
brevis, shallow cistern, reste moven- 
dus, needing to be worked with a rope. 

228. bidentis, hoe — the nearest fa- 
mihar equivalent. 

229. Pythagoreis, vegetarians. 

230. Est aliquid, it is worth some- 

231. lacertae, lizard. This is a 
picturesque way of suggesting a tiny 

232. hie, at Rome, vigilando, /rom 
lack of sleep. 

233-234. languorem . . . stomacho, 
undigested food, lying on a feverish 
stomachj causes the illness — the indi- 
gestion being due, of course, to lack of 

234. meritoria, hired lodgings. 

235. magnis opibus dormitur, lit., 
only with great wealth does one sleep — 
i.e., only the rich man sleeps. 

236. eaput morbi, source of the 

237. stantis convicia mandrae, 
wranglings over the stalled herd. The 
drovers swear at each other when two 
herds meet. 

238. Druse, dative, the Emperor 
Claudius, vitulis marinis, seals. 

240. super era, above the heads of 
the crowd. Libuma, litter. 

243. Ante, supply nos. 

244. unda, crowd. 

245. assere, sedan pole. 

246. tignum, beam, metretam, 
wine cask. 

247. Pinguia lute, {are) plastered 
with mud. planta, feet. 

248. digito,<oe. clavus, /io67witr(s) . 

249. sportula, dole — hot food. 

250. convivae, this is used sarcas- 
tically for the clients — who make a 
business of collecting these doles. 
They even bring servants with them, 
who carry "warmers" (culina) — i.e., 
a nest of pots, one on top of the other 
— on their heads, such as one sees in 
Italy today. 

251. Corbulo, a famous strongman. 

253. ignem, the handful of char- 
coal which keeps the contrivance 
warm — as in a samovar. 

254. coniseat, sways. 

255-256. serracum, plaustrum, 

257. procubuit, breaks down, the 
subject is axis, saxa Ligustica, 

258. agmina, the crowd. 

260. vulgi, of a plebeian. 
260-261. perit more animae, dis- 
appears like his soul. 

261. domus, his family. 

262. foeulum, hearth fire. 
262-263. sonat . . . gutto, rattle the 

greasy scrapers and lay out the towels 
with the full oil flask — preparations 
for the bath. 

264. HaeCj these tasks. pueros,the 
few faithful slaves of the average 

265. ripa, i.e., of the Styx. 

266. porthmea (Greek), accusative, 
ferryman, Charon, caenosi gurgitis, 
the Styx, alntun, boat. 

267. He has no penny (triens) in 
his mouth to pay Charon's fare — as 
did those who were properly buried. 

269. spatium, height. 

270. testsiy potsherd, curta, 6roA;en. 

271. signent, dent. 

272. silieem, of the pavement. 

273. casus, genitive. 

274. intestatus, without having made 
your will, adeo [sunt], for there are. 
fata, mortal perils, quot , , * ^as there 
are open windows. 

276. votum, your prayer. 

Notes: Suetonius (Divus Titus) 


277. sint, the subject is fenestrae. 
patulas , , , , to spill their slops {on 

278. Ebrius ac petulans, the 
drunken ruffian, nullum, neminem. 

279. dat poenas, feels remorse — 
just the opposite of a normal person. 

279-280. noctem . . . Pelidae, 
suffers a night {such as that) of 
Achilles mourning for Patroclus. 

281. non alitor, i.e., than after kill- 
ing someone. 

282. rixa, a hrawl. sed . , ., the 
thugs know better than to attack 
rich men, who are well protected by 
their retainers, improbus annis, a 
young rake. 

283. coccina laena, scarlet cloak. 
285. flammarum, torches. 

287. dispenso filum, / tend the wick. 

288. contemnit, the subject is he 
(the thug), cognosce, hear, listen 
while I tell you. 

289. tu, the other man. 

290. stari iubet, lit., bids one stand 
— i.e., cries "Halt!" 

292-294. The bully puts the ques- 
tion: Where have you been dining?, in 
the most insulting and abusive terms 
he can think of. 

292. aceto, vinegar — instead of 

293. conche, beans, tumes, are 
you bloated? 

293-294. sectile pomim, Zee/cs. quis 
sutor, what cobbler, elixi vervecis 
labra, boiled sheep's snout. 

295. calcem, kick. 

296. cbnsistas, i.e., as a beggar, 
proseucha, synagogue. 

298. feriunt, the subject is they 
(the thugs) . 

298-299. vadimonia faciimt, charge 
you with assault and battery. 

300. pugnis, from pugnus. adorat, 

302. qui spoliet, a burglar. 

304. compago tabemae, these are 

collective nouns, the shutters of the 

305. subitus grassator, a footpad, 
a highwayman, agit rem, settles your 
hash, finishes you. 

306-308. I.e., when the police 
drive the bandits off the Appian Way 
and they flock into Rome. 

307. These marked lonely stretches 
of road, south of Rome, pinus, pine 

308. vivaria, game preserve. 

309. Quafornace {forge), quMincude 
{anvil), non [sunt] graves catenae? 

310. Maximus, supply est. ferri 
modus, amount of iron. 

311. vomer, marra, sarculum, plow- 
share, mattock, hoe. 

317. commota virga, waving his 

318. annuit, has beckoned. 

318-319. te Roma tuo reddet Aqui- 
no, lit., Rome will give you to your 
native Aquinum — i.e., whenever you 
visit your birthplace, Aquinum. 
Aquinum was in southeastern La- 
tium. refici properantem, hyrrying to 
refresh yourself. 

320. Ceres Helvina, Diana, the 
temples of these goddesses were well- 
known landmarks of Aquinum. 

321. converte, summon, ni pudet 
illas [mei], if they do not blush at me. 

322. gelidos, Aquinum had a cooler 
climate than Cumae. caligatus, in 
my boots. 


The following chronological table 
gives the reigns of the various Caesars 
and outstanding events during this 

27.B.C.-14 A.D.: The reign of Augus- 

Vespasian, founder of the Flavian 

dynasty^ born (9 A.D.). 


Notes: Suetonius (Divus Titus) 

14-37: The reign of Tiberius. 
37-41 : The reign of CaHgula. 

Vespasian made praetor (39). 

Titus, eldest son of Vespasian, 

born (41). 
41-54: The reign of Claudius. 

Vespasian commands armies in 

Germany and Britain. 

Vespasian made consul (51). 
54-68: The reign of Nero. 

Vespasian made Governor of Africa 


Vespasian, accompanied by Titus, 

takes command against the Jews 

^8-69: The reigns of Galba, Otho, and 

69-79: The reign of Vespasian. 

Titus captures Jerusalem (70). 
79-81: The reign of Titus. 
81-91 : The reign of Domitian, second 

son of Vespasian. 

1. cognominepatemo, Fespasmnws. 
In fact, his full name was the same as 
his father's: Titus Fhmus Vespasia- 
nus. deliciae, darling. 

2-3. tantum illi superfuit, he had 
such an abundance of. This explains 
why he was called: amor ac deliciae 
generis humani. voluntatem, good 

4. in imperio, during his own reign. 
4-5. sub patre principe, during the 

reign of his father. 

5. nedum, not to mention. 

6. insigni . . . nece, in the year 
marked by the assassination of Calig- 
ula (41 A.D.). 

7-8. sordidis . . . obscure, long be- 
fore the humble Vespasian was even 
thought of as emperor. 

9. in aula, at court — beginning in 
the reign of Claudius. Britannicus, 
ill-starred son of Claudius — poisoned 
by Nero, in 55. 

11. metopo-scopum (Greek), physi- 

14. utique, surely. 

17. Quorum, of which things, sta- 
tuam ei, his (Britannicus') statue. 

19. hodieque, even today. 

19-20. prosecutus esty followed it on 
foot — on the day of dedication. 
Thereafter, it became traditional to 
carry this statue in the annual pro- 

28. usque, at any time. 

30. notis excipere, write shorthand. 

32. chirographa quaeciunque, lit., 
whatever handwritings — i.e., any hand- 

33. f alsarium, /orgfer. 

34. meruit, served as. 

38. stipendia, military service. 

38-39. foro . . . assiduam, he de- 
voted creditable^ rather than constant, 
efforts to pleading. 

40. eq. R., equite Romano. 

41. in defunctae locimi . . . , after 
the death of his first wife, he married 
Marcia Fumilla. 

42. cum qua . . . fecit, whom he 
divorced after the birth of a daughter. 

43. Ex, after. 

44-45. in potestatem redegit, sub- 

45. sub feminibus, lit., under his 
thighs. The English idiom is simply 
under him. 

46. altero inscenso, he leapt on 
another horse, rector, rider. 

47. tenente rem p., being emperor. 
missus [est], from Judaea. 

48-49. quasi . . . arcesseretur, as if 
he were being summoned (by Ixalba) to 
be adopted {as successor) . 

49. turbari, i.e., by the dethrone- 
ment of Galba and the brief reigns of 
Otho and Vitellius. 

49-50. redit ex itinera, he turned 
back — after probably getting only as 
far as Greece. 

50. Paphiae, Paphian — ^i.e., in Pa- 
phos (an island). 

Notes: Suetonius (Divus Titus) 


51. imperii, of imperial power. 

52. Cuius brevi compos, soon in 
possession of this hope — because of his 
father's accession. 

53. novissima, final. Hierosoly- 
ma, neuter plural, Jerusalem. 

54. propugnatores, defenders — of 
the city, confecit, killed. 

55. ea, it (Jerusalem), natali, on 
the birthday. 

56. imperatorem, emperor — by an- 

60. desciscere, revolt, sibi vindi- 
care, seize. 

62. bove Apide, the hull Apis — well- 
known incarnation of the Egyptian 
god Apis. 

64. sequius, unfavorably. 

65. oneraria nave, transport vessel. 

67. arguens temeritatem, proving 
the groundlessness. 

68. ex eo, thereafter. 

69. tutorem agere, act as regent. 

74. he, in place of a quaestor, read 
{his father's) speeches in the senate. 

75. praefecturam praetori, com- 
mand of the praetorian guard. 

77. inciviUus, rather tyrannically. 
siquidem, since. 

77-78. suspectissimimi quemque 
sibi, anyone who earned his suspicion. 

78. summissis, sending (his agents) . 
quasi consensu, as if by general con- 
sent — whereas he acted solely on his 
own initiative. 

79. oppressit, put to death. In, 

81. confodi, to be cut down, sane 
urgente, being really imminent. 

82-83. chirographum . . . contionis, 
the autograph copy of his proposed 
harangue to the soldiers. Aulus 
Caecina was about to head a mutiny. 

83. rebus, measures, sicut, al- 

85. non temere quis, scarcely any- 
one, nmiore, reputation. 

88-89. profusissimo quoque fami- 

liarimn, profusissimis familiaribus, 
his most extravagant friends. 

89. libido, supply suspecta erat. 

89-90. exoletorum et spadontmi, 
male prostitutes and eunuchs — ^who 
were in his retinue. 

92-93. constabat . . . solitum, it was 
well known that he trafficked in his 
father's cases and took bribes — i.e., in 
cases brought before the Emperor, 
he exerted his influence in favor of 
the highest bidder. 

94-95. illi . . . cessit, his evil repu- 
tation turned out to his advantage. 
Like Prince Hal, he reformed upon 
acceding to the throne; and everyone 
was overjoyed at the contrast. 

96. contra, on the contrary, virtu- 
tibus summis, supply repertis. 

99. acquievenmt, were satisfied 

100. statim, when he came to the 

100-101. e gratissimis delicatorum, 
of his principal favorites. 

101. tarn artifices saltationis, such 
skillful dancers. 

104. alieno, from the property of 

104-105. ut si quis umquam, if any- 
one ever did. 

105. collationes, gifts. 

106. nemine minor, inferior to no 

107. amphitheatro, the present Col- 

108. munus, gladiatorial show. 
110. omne genus, an accusative of 

specification, of every kind. 

111-112. ex instituto Tiberi, in ac- 
cordance with the precedent set by 

113. aliter . . . , non aliter quam si, 
only if. rata haberent, ratified. 

114. isdem et ipsi, individually. 

115. nee . . . passus est, did not 
wait to be asked. 

116. desideriis hominum, petitions 


Notes: Gaius (Institutes) 

from his subjects, tenuit, held to the 

120. qvLodfthat. This is a medieval 
Latin construction. 

120-121. nihil . . . praestitisset, had 
granted no boon. 

122. vocem, saying, remark. 

124. comitate, indulgence. 

125. ad, according to. 

127-128. ut . . . , adhortatus est ut 
peterent quae vellent. 

128. studium . . . f erens, displaying 
his partiality for the Thracian type of 
equipment — ^gladiators in heavy ar- 

129. voce, by word, cavillatus est, 

130. maiestate . . . aequitate, 
without losing his dignity or his poise. 

133-134. conflagratio, eruption. 

136. non temere alias, scarcely at 
any other time — i.e., such as 'had 
scarcely . been deen before, adversis, 
noim, disasters. 

139. Curatores, commissioners. 

140. oppressorum, of those who 
were killed (cf. 1. 79). 

142. civitatium, cities. 

143. perisse, he said perii (I am 
ruined), praetoriorum, palaces. 

144. operibus, public buildings. 
146. valitudini, the plague. 

149. adversa temporum, evils of the 
age. delatores mandatoresque, in- 
formers and instigators. 

152. subici ac venire, to be put on 
the block and sold. 

155. agi, suits being brought. 

155-156. quaeri-ve . . . statu, or in- 
quiry to be made concerning the legal 
status of a deceased person. 

158. fidem praestitit, he kept his 

158-159. nee auctor nee conscius, 
neither responsible for nor a party to. 

162. docens, admonishing them. 

164. alterius, of one of them. 

168-169. ferramenta, weapons. 

169. porrexit, he calmly handed 

them the swords — as though he never 
suspected their desire to assassinate 

170. cognita . . . genitura, having 
cast their horoscopes. 

171. quandoque, at some other time. 

172. Fratrem, Domitian — who suc- 
ceeded him and later alleged that 
Titus had tampered with Vespasian's 
will, which appointed both brothers 
joint rulers of the Empire. 

172-173. ex professo, openly. 

173. exercitus, accusative plural. 
177-178. mutuo . . . esse, to please 

return his affection. 

178-179. hominum, mankind. 

181. fieverat, he must have had a 
premonition of his death. Sabinos 
petit, he started for the Sabine country 
— ^Jus father's birthplace. 

185. pallulis, curtains. 

192. gloriatura, she would have 
boasted of it. quod . . . erat, which 
was very easy for her^ which she was 
very prone to do. 



Preliminary Definitions 
[a] Local and Universal Law 
1-2. Lex is a specific term connot- 
ing a law, a statute, or an ordinance; 
ius is more general, connoting law 
(in the abstract) or legal principles. 

4. quasi, that is. 

4-5. civitatis, of the citizenry, of 
the {particular) state. 

5. ratio, reason. 

6. per-aeque, equally. 

[b] TjT^es of Roman Legislation 

1. iura, types of law. legibus, 
{regular) statutes, plebi-scitis, ple- 
beian statutes (or ordinances). 

Notes: Gaius (Institutes) 


2. constitutionibus principiun, pro- 
mulgations of the emperors. 

3. prudentium, this is an abbrevia- 
tion of the full term iuris prudentium 
(or consultorum) . Jurisconsults were 
a peculiar Roman institution. 

6. distat, differs. 

11. cauttim est, it was provided (or 

12. legibus, dative, exaequata 
sunt, supply plehiscita as the subject. 

14. vicem obtinet, has the position 
(or force) of. quamvis, . . . , although 
(this) has been questioned (or doubted) 
— by legal authorities. 

22. praesides, governors. 

23. provinciis populi Romani, the 
so-called senatorial provinces. 

24. provinciis Caesaris, imperial 

28. condere, establish. 
28-29. in unum concurrant, are 


Patria Potestas 

2. Quod, this. 

6. flamines Diales, priests of Ju- 

6-7. inaugurentur, capiantur, these 
are the correct technical terms for the 
two priesthoods, respectively. 

13-14. mancipationibus, transfers 
of ownership, sales. 

14. liberi, descendants. " Libero- 
rum" appellatione nepotes et prone- 
potes ceterique qui ex his descendunt con- 
tinentur {Digest 50, 16, 220); ''liberi" 
usque ad trinepotem [nominantur], 
ultra hos '' posterior es" vocantur {Di- 
gest 38, 10, 10, 7). 

16. tantum, only. 

19. vindicta, by rod (or staff). The 
manumitter touched the "manu- 
mittee" with a staff. 

26. manumissus, freed — automat- 
ically, as by the death of his father. 
in causa mancipii, in a state of bondage. 


1. liberis, dative, with dare. 

2. tutores, guardians. 

3. diuntaxat, only. 

4. perfectae, adult. 

8-9. tantum iure liberorum, only by 
the "ius [trium] liberorum" — exemp- 
tions granted to mothers (and 
fathers) of three or more children. 

10. Loquimur, / mean. 

21. Ne, to prevent, pupillortun, 
wards, curatio, this form of guard- 
ianship was less strict — e.g., that of 
adult women. 

22. negotia, property, estate. 
23-24. 60 nomine, under that head, 

for that purpose. 

24. satis-dent, give security, per- 
petumn, of universal application. 


Legacies and Wills 

1. personae, dative, legatum, leg- 
acy. Legacies are specific payments 
or gifts which the heir is instructed to 
make from the estate. 

3. legatum sit, English has no 
simple verb corresponding to legare, 
but must say: leave a legacy to. 

4. decern miUa, here sesterces (the 
obvious monetary imit) is understood. 

5. Idem iuris, the same principle. 
9-10. post testamentum, after {the 

making of) my will. 

13. personae, dative, an indefinite 
member of a definite group. 

16-17. A legacy that penafizes or 
coerces the heir is void, and he is not 
required to pay it. 

19-20. Titius, Seius, these are 
equivalent to the English John Doe 
and Richard Roe. 

22. directo testamento, i.e., by a 
clause in the will itself — not in- 
directly, by way of legacy. 

25. uUus, supply servus. 


Notes: Gaius (Institutes) 

26. utroque tempore, this is ex- 
plained in the following clause 
(1. 27) : quo [tempore] faceret testamen- 
tum et quo [tempore] moreretur. 
testatoris, {the property) of the testator. 
iure quiritium, iure Romano. 

28. bonis, property^ estate. 

29. praeterire, bequeath him nothing. 
30-31. ad . . . patronum, allowed 

the patron to inherit from his freedman. 
ita demum ... si, only if. 

32. suo herede, this is a technical 
term: natural (or statutory) heir. 

33-34. nihil iuris erat patrono, the 
patron had no claim. 

34. naturalibus liberis, true child- 
ren — as contrasted with adopted 

35. querela, cause for complaint — 
on the part of the disinherited patron. 

36. in manu, under his authority. 
The authority of husband over wife 
was called manus, and differed from 
other authorities exercised by a pater 

37. sua heres, natural heir (femi- 

39. Sive, if, correlative with Si vero 
(1. 43) — ^but the correlation is awk- 
ward in English. 

42-43. contra tabulas testamenti, 
contrary to the text of the will, in spite 
of the will. 

50. si . . . scripti sint, provided they 
are not disinherited. 

51-52. aut . . . petierint, or, if dis- 
inherited (praeteriti), provided they 
claim (or sue for) their inheritance. 
Children could be disinherited only 
for just cause. 

56. sestertium . . . , more than 
100,000 sesterces. Sestertium is geni- 
tive plural. 

59. virilis pars, a per-capita share. 
The patron has the rights of a natural 
heir, sharing the estate evenly with 
the other natural heirs. 

60-61. perinde . . . ac si, exactly . . . 
as if (see 11. 43-47 above). 

Verbal Contracts 

2. spondes, agree — a, very binding 
term in Roman law. 

3. fide iubes, do you become surety?, 
do you give bail? 

21-22. humam iuriSyUrithin hunian 
jurisdiction — ^i.e., subject to sale. 

23. ad, in accord with. Question 
and answer do not agree. 

24. sestertia, neuter plural. One 
sestertium was equivalent to a 
thousand sesterces. The singular 
sestertius is masculine. 

25. pure, unconditionally. 

28. in surdo, in the case of a deaf 

32. ita tamen ut, provided, sicubi, 

33. velut, namely, ipse, pupillus. 

Purchase and Sale 

1. The question is: When does a 
bargain become binding? 

2. arra, earnest money — the initial 
payment to bind the bargain. 

6-9. Labeo, Cassius, Ofilius, Pr6- 
culus, these were famous jurists. 

10. nimierata pectmia, coin of the 
realm, legal tender. 

10-11, ceteris rebus, anything be- 
sides money. 

13. Nostri praeceptores, the teach- 
ers of Gaius. 

14. illud . . . putant, the popular be- 

18-19. aliud . . . aliud, one thing . . . 
another — i.e., they are different. 

19-23. alioquin . . . videri, Gaius 
quotes his opponents' arguments in 
indirect discourse. 

19-20. non . . . expediri, it cannot be 

20. permutatis rebus, in case of 
barter, venisse (from veneo)f to have 
been sold. 

Notes: Gaius (Institutes) 


24. hominem, a slave — offered in 
exchange for a plot of ground. 


1. intercipiendi, of appropriating it. 

3. contractat, uses. 

4-5. utendam rem acceperit, has 
borrowed a thing for a specific purpose. 

5-6. furti obligatur, is liable for 

6. argentum, silver plate. 

8. gestandiy riding. 

9. veteres, the ancient (authorities) . 

10. Placuit, it is agreed. 

15. dolo male, fraudulent intent. 

19. subriperet, steal. 

20. in ipso delicto, in the act, red- 

21. utrum 

whether Titius is 

liable to me in an action for theft. 

23. furti, supply non tenetur mihi. 

24. servi corrupti, supply non tene- 
tur mihi. 


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